25 Aug 2018

Clinical Barrett destroys Wallabies

10:29 pm on 25 August 2018

Beauden Barrett was chief executioner as the All Blacks sliced the Wallabies apart 40-12 at Eden Park to extend their Bledisloe Cup reign into a 16th year.

Beauden Barrett

Beauden Barrett Photo: Photosport

Barrett scored four tries and 30 points in a dazzling performance, heaping more trans-Tasman agony on a gritty but outclassed Australia at a venue where they haven't won since 1986.

In a performance which will increase the pressure on under-fire coach Michael Cheika, the Wallabies couldn't handle five-eighth maestro Barrett, whose points haul is a Bledisloe Cup record.

His four tries is the most by an All Black and equals the famous haul of Greg Cornelson at the same ground 40 years ago.

The 27-year-old unleashed his speed and full array of skills, also converting five of his team's six tries in one of the great test displays.

Barrett's brilliance aside, the test was a hard-fought affair which mirrored last week's 38-13 New Zealand win in Sydney.

Will Genia's try pulled the Wallabies level 7-7 on the half-hour mark and it was only Barrett's second try on the stroke of the break which left the visitors seven points adrift at halftime.

However, it was again one-way traffic after the break as the Wallabies turnovers were ruthlessly punished.

Among the few bright points for the Wallabies was an improved set piece display after a shambolic Sydney effort.

Their lineout was better and the introduction of props Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa stiffened the scrum.

Dane Haylett-Petty made some bright runs from fullback in the absence of Israel Folau while No.8 David Pocock was a standout in the first half.

Cheika said it stung being overwhelmed for a second straight week after a faultless preparation.

"I'm feeling pretty bad right now. Our fans and supporters expect so much from us and we want to bring it as well," he said.

The difference was again identified as New Zealand's ruthlessness off turnover ball.

"When you do cough the ball up like that, or however the turnover occur, you know they're going to come with it," Cheika said.

"Then you've got to get up and work extra hard until you get the ball back. Five or six key moments we didn't do that.

"The rest of the game we worked our backsides off."

Barrett's first try came from New Zealand's only real attack in the opening half-hour, bursting through a yawning gap.

Australia enjoyed their best period on the back of some brilliant long-range work from Kurtley Beale and Marike Koroibete.

They turned down a penalty shot from right in front of the posts, setting a number of scrums which the under-pressure hosts were deemed to have collapsed before Genia scampered over.

The All Blacks pushed seven points clear again just before the break when they pounced on a Beale turnover, swept 80m and Smith put Barrett over again, giving the five-eighth all their points for the half.

Wallabies hearts sank in the 10 minutes after halftime when prop Joe Moody and flanker Liam Squire powered across for straightforward tries.

Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley followed up a try-saving tackle on Jordie Barrett with a scything run to set up centre Reece Hodge that reduced the margin to 16 points.

Barrett responded with a sizzling solo try, had another disallowed and bagged his fourth soon afterwards as the game opened up in a manner the New Zealanders thrive on.