The All Blacks landed a major psychological blow at the venue for the World Cup Final as they confidently brushed aside the challenge of their Bledisloe Cup rivals in Auckland on Saturday.
The New Zealanders were by far the more effective outfit in a breathtaking first half and made the Wallabies pay for every lapse in concentration, leaving the visitors down and out and staring at a huge defeat at the half-time break.
The All Black halfbacks were outstanding on the night and their support runners charged straight over the advantage line in contrast to the lateral visitors who enjoyed the bulk of territory and possession but battled to make it count.
The home side was able to win quick ball on the ground and carried that momentum into most other aspects of the game as the Wallabies struggled desperately to get back into the game.
Michael de Vries rates the New Zealand players
15 Mils Muliaina: The veteran fullback always does the basics well and this was no exception. A solid performance both on attack and defence despite being rounded by the flying Digby Ioane who had Beale on his inside for the Wallabies first try. 6/10
14 Sitiveni Sivivatu: A big performance from the dangerous wing. Showed good awareness, looked for work and underlined his deadly finishing skills but perhaps more impressive was the way he dealt with the way the Wallabies were clearly targeting him on defence. Under pressure from the boot of Quade Cooper and the irrepressible Digby Ioane he showed that he is not as one-dimensional as some believe. 8/10
13 Conrad Smith: An outstanding game from a player who has the invaluable ability to read the game better than most. Got over the advantage line with regularity, was tireless on defence and did well to put Sivivatu away for the try that made the game safe. 9/10
12 Ma'a Nonu: Showed great strength to muscle over for his early try, committed plenty of defenders with his direct running although he did fade out of the game a bit in the second half. 7/10
11 Hosea Gear: Did his best to get involved and was solid under the high ball. His early break gave his team some good momentum in the lead-up to the opening try and was always strong in contact despite his limited opportunities. 7/10
10 Daniel Carter: A flawless performance from the best flyhalf in the world. Tackled his heart out, won turnovers, and did not miss a kick at goal as he comprehensively outplayed his opposite number. Every kick was an intelligent one and he even threw in a sneaky drop-goal to cap a masterclass from the best in the business. 10/10
9 Piri Weepu: Delivered on the big stage when it mattered most. He was crucial to the All Blacks' early dominance as he kicked well from the base of the scrum, provided quick ball as his team stampeded forward and proved himself as an all-round threat by launching some sniping breaks on the blindside. Lost focus in his limited time on the park in the second half which is probably more a reflection of his lack of match fitness than anything else. 8/10
8 Kieran Read: Showed just why he is rated so highly by launching himself into some big tackles and rampaging forward with the ball in hand. Never takes a backward step to anyone. 8/10
7 Richie McCaw: The old master was a constant threat at breakdown and showed good intensity and hunger which indicates that he is getting back to the height of his powers. Edged Pocock in their much-anticipated showdown by putting plenty of pressure on the opposition throughout. 8/10
6 Jerome Kaino: The tireless warrior got through 17 tackles in his 70 minutes on the park and did a great job slowing down the Wallabies ball. Always strong on his feet in another solid performance. 7/10
5 Ali Williams: Still getting back to the player he once was but showed good intent by putting pressure on the opposition. Line-out work was not flawless but he will be happy with his booming touch-finder. 6/10
4 Brad Thorn: Showed that there is no substitute for power in the tight five. Ran hard and straight at the Wallabies defence all night and also managed to disrupt their highly-rated line-out. Shows no sign of slowing down as his career nears its end. 7/10
3 Owen Franks: As usual a strong performance at scrum-time but what was particularly impressive was his willingness to look for work in loose play. Got involved clearing rucks, busting tackles on a couple of bullocking runs and made a few big tackles in an encouraging display. 8/10
2 Keven Mealamu: A good return to the Test arena from the hardened veteran who always runs hard and straight. Showed good strength to get over for his try but a couple of dodgy line-out throws took the shine off to a certain extent. 6/10
1 Wyatt Crockett: Battled at scrum-time and was penalised twice, worked hard off the ball but was unsurprisingly whipped off early in the second half. 5/10
16 Andrew Hore: (on for Mealamu 65 mins):
Missed his first line-out but battled hard in his time on the pitch. 6/10
17 Ben Franks: (on for Crockett 49 mins)
Solid as ever in the scrums and looked for plenty of work in loose. The Wallaby scrum and Ben Alexander was under pressure as soon as he came on. 7/10
Sam Whitelock: (on for Williams 65 mins)
Showed that he belongs at this level and is involved in a tight challenge for the starting jersey with the old warhorse he replaced. 6/10
18 Adam Thomson: (on for Kaino 70 min)
Flew in at the breakdown and worked hard in his limited time on the pitch. His versatility makes him the perfect loose forward cover. 6/10
19 Andy Ellis: (on for Weepu 59 min)
Did the basics well and although he was not spectacular he will be happy with his outing. 6/10
20 Colin Slade: (on for Sivivatu 55 min)
Slotted in well but did not get many opportunities to impress. 6/10
21 Sonny Bill Williams: (on for Nonu 68 min)
Attracted plenty of defenders and produced a couple of trademark offloads. Looks hungry to make an impression at this level. 6/10
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