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Wallabies outclassed in Bledisloe Cup opener


New Zealand's Rugby Championship campaign suffered another setback just hours before their opening match against Australia after veteran flanker Jerome Kaino flew home from Syndey following revelations about his personal life.

The All Blacks went in at the break with a commanding 40-6 lead and despite a second-half comeback from the Aussies in Sydney the world champions ran out comfortable 54-34 winners, kicking off their campaign in fine fashion.

Damian McKenzie and Ben Smith scored tries early in the second half as this competition opener turned into a complete mauling.

Coach Michael Cheika, though, stunningly said he had no problem with his side's attack after four tries from Curtis Rona, Israel Folau, Tevita Kuridrani and Kurtley Beale saved the Wallabies from their biggest-ever loss to the All Blacks.

"We obviously came here to try and play our game and it really came off".

The Wallabies will now cross the Tasman ahead of the return clash with New Zealand at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin next Saturday, August 26.

Wallabies Captain Michael Hooper said: "It was not the start we wanted in this series and in particular this game".

"Being 50 points behind, you start to throw everything we had, I'm so happy with that".


A loose pass and a handling error by the Wallabies soon in the middle of the field gifted Ioane his second in the space of three minutes as the score jumped out to 19-6.

"That first-half performance was not at the level we can be at".

Looking to dispel some of the gloom hanging over the Australian game, the Wallabies put together some sharp phases with their first possession and were rewarded with flyhalf Bernard Foley's penalty in the third minute.

Winger Ioane scored the first two, beating a badly positioned Folau on the outside and benefiting from a Beale spill to race away for the second.

While the Wallabies added some respectability to the final score after trailing 54-6 with four tries in the final half-hour the contest was well and truly over after the first 50 minutes.

Sonny Bill Williams crashed over in the 34th, then Crotty scored his second in the last minute of the first half.

The All Blacks might have surpassed 60 points with a late try to Beauden Barrett but the score was overruled by the television official.

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