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All Blacks dominate Aussies


Mils Muliaina

Mils Muliaina

Mils Muliaina

New Zealand claimed a record eighth consecutive victory over Australia as they romped to a 49-28 triumph in this year's opening Bledisloe Cup clash at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

Mils Muliaina celebrated his 30th birthday in fine style with a double, with Dan Carter, man-of-the-match Richie McCaw, Cory Jane, Joe Rokocoko and Corey Flynn also crossing in the seven-tries-to-three triumph.

To their credit the hosts bagged the opener and managed two second-half tries through Adam Ashley-Cooper and Rocky Elsom despite being a man down following the sending-off of Drew Mitchell but it was not enough to avoid a heavy defeat.

Matt Giteau and Carter traded early penalties before winger Mitchell and Carter then exchanged tries with the latter's conversion putting the All Blacks ahead.

The All Blacks then extended their advantage on 13 minutes when Muliaina finished a brilliant try. Winger Jane received the ball on the right flank and delivered a fantastic improvised kick ahead as he fell into touch in a tackle from Elsom to give Muliaina a simple finish for a 15-8 lead.

Giteau trimmed the deficit with his second penalty of the night in the 19th minute but the All Blacks were next to score when the outstanding McCaw swooped on a loose ball from a Wallaby turnover and scooted 25 metres down the blindside for the try, with Carter's sideline conversion adding further insult.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Mitchell was sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge on the half-hour, and the visitors made the most of the extra man when Jane crossed in the shadows of half-time to send the All Blacks into the dressing rooms with a commanding 16-point lead.

Mitchell's second yellow effectively ended any hopes of a Wallabies fightback and Muliaina cashed in three minutes later when he went over untouched for his second try of the night, with Carter's conversion making it 39-14.

To their credit the hosts fought back through Ashley-Cooper but Rokocoko stretched out to score soon after and make sure the New Zealanders remained in full control.

Captain Elsom got Australia's third try but New Zealand put the seal on an emphatic win when replacement hooker Flynn crashed over as the Wallabies were again overstretched in defence.