Muscat Daily

Clarke leads All Blacks to easy win over Wal­la­bies

- Sports · Rugby · New Zealand national rugby union team · Australia national rugby union team · Greater Auckland · New Zealand · Australia · Jonah Lomu · Eden Park

Auck­land, New Zealand - Wing Caleb Clarke en­joyed a storm­ing first Test start as an ag­gres­sive All Blacks downed Aus­tralia 27-7 with a rol­lick­ing sec­ond half in Auck­land on Sun­day to an­swer their crit­ics af­ter last week's draw.

Af­ter the dra­matic, 16-16 Bledis­loe Cup se­ries opener, the All Blacks led 10-7 at half-time and scored three quick tries af­ter the restart as they piled on 17 unan­swered points in the sec­ond pe­riod.

Bruis­ing wing Clarke, who had the crowd on the edge of their seats ev­ery time he touched the ball, skit­tled de­fend­ers and evoked mem­o­ries of Jonah Lomu as the All Blacks played with a re­newed phys­i­cal pres­ence and co­he­sion.

It was the sev­enth time in the past 13 years that the three-times world cham­pi­ons have started the an­nual Bledis­loe Cup se­ries with a loss or a draw and im­me­di­ately bounced back.

"It was tough, but we're so damn happy," said All Blacks cap­tain Sam Cane. "There was a lot of pres­sure this week for a rel­a­tively new squad in a lot of ways and I'm re­ally proud of the way we stuck to our plan. "We worked re­ally, re­ally hard and in the end we man­aged to break them."

The four-tries-to-one vic­tory ex­tended the All Blacks' im­pres­sive record at Eden Park, where they have not lost in 44 Tests since 1994 and where Aus­tralia have not won since 1986.

They now need to win only one of the two re­main­ing games in the Bledis­loe Cup se­ries, which will be played in Aus­tralia as part of the up­com­ing Tri-Na­tions tour­na­ment, to re­tain the tro­phy they have held since 2003.

"They were bet­ter this week, they raised the bar and got ahead of us," said Aus­tralia cap­tain Michael Hooper.

"We'll go back home now, get­ting a cou­ple of days off and re­group. You know, we're build­ing. A hit to the con­fi­dence a bit to­day, but we'll go again."

 ??  ?? New Zealand's Caleb Clarke makes a break dur­ing the sec­ond Bledis­loe Cup rugby Test against Aus­tralia at Eden Park in Auck­land, on Sun­day
New Zealand's Caleb Clarke makes a break dur­ing the sec­ond Bledis­loe Cup rugby Test against Aus­tralia at Eden Park in Auck­land, on Sun­day

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