New Zealand got the inaugural Rugby Championships off to a winning start with an impressive 27-19 win over Australia in Sydney on Saturday.
The Wallabies took and early lead, but the All Blacks then scored 18 unanswered points to take control of the match that doubled as a Bledisloe Cup encounter.
Despite a brave effort by Australia to get back into the contest - and they looked threatening at times - the margin was always just too big to make up. They never came closer than five points.
The All Blacks, who have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, now head to Auckland for the second-round match in the series with a fantastic opportunity of extending their trans-Tasman dominance and retaining some silverware.
An early scrum penalty against the All Blacks, for deliberate wheeling, saw Berrick Barnes open the scoring - 3-0 after just two minutes.
However, a penalty against the Aussie scrum in the 10th minute allowed Dan Carter to level the scores, before Israel Dagg - after a great dummy run by Sonny Bill Williams and offload by Carter - beat Kurtley Beale on the outside to go over for the first try. Carter added the extras and in no time the Kiwis had turned a deficit into a 10-3 lead.
Another Carter penalty - after Benn Robinson played the ball from an offside position - made it 13-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The Wallabies then turned down a kickable penalty, a quick tap by Beale, which resulted in the All Blacks winning a defensive penalty as the Wallabies held onto the ball in the tackle.
Beale was also instrumental in creating the opportunity for the All Blacks' second try - a knock-on inside his own 22, which gave the Kiwis an attacking scrum. From there a simple backline move created an overlap for Cory Jane, after Beale also went out of the defensive line. Carter was wide of the mark with the conversion attempt, but New Zealand held a handy 18-3 lead.
Just before the half-time break veteran Nathan Sharpe, who delayed his retirement to help out the Wallabies in this tournament, went over for Australia's first try. Will Genia and Digby Ioane were both heavily involved in the build-up, before Sharpe bust through the defence by coming on the angle closer to the line. Berrick Barnes added the conversion - 10-18 and a ray of hope going into the break.
An early penalty, for offside by Kieran Read, gave Barnes a shot to narrow the gap even more and he obliged - 13-18 five minutes into the second half.
The margin quickly moved back to eight points - when Wallaby captain David Pocock was penalised for hands in a ruck and Carter slotted the kick - and then back to five, after the Kiwis were penalised for a transgression at a line-out and Barnes obliged to make it 16-21.
Pocock was again the culprit at the breakdown when the All Blacks' next points came, Carter slotting a relatively easy penalty after the Wallaby captain interfered with the ball at a ruck - 24-16 with just over 15 minutes left on the clock..
With five minute left on the clock and the Wallabies pressing hard, the home team was awarded a penalty for offside right in front. Barnes slotted the easy kick to keep his team in with a chance of an upset - 19-24.
Right on full-time the Wallabies coughed up the ball on attack and from the counter - which resulted in a scrum deep in the Australia 22 - Carter slotted a penalty that denied the Wallabies a losing bonus point - 27-19 at the final whistle.
Pens: Barnes 5
For New Zealand:
Tries: Dagg, Jane
Pens: Carter 5
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Drew Mitchell.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith.
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)