Rugby Union test scores

October 29, 2014
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It was a record score against Australia and it was stunning stuff, especially after the All Blacks had lost skipper Richie McCaw to the sin bin in the first-half. He recovered rather well to score two second-half tries to add to some other quite magnificent individual efforts from fly-half Aaron Cruden (with 19 points), outside centre Conrad Smith, No 8 Kieran Read, scrum-half Aaron Smith and, in the half that he was on the field, inside centre Ryan Crotty. But no-one was better than lock Brodie Retallick, who had one of the great matches as a lock.

New Zealand had led 23-6 at half-time, despite having lost McCaw to the sin bin for only the second time in his 129-cap Test career. It is a remarkable statistic given how close to the edge he has always played the game. But the card was fully justified as he played the ball on the ground with Australia pressing hard.

But it said so much about New Zealand's mindset and resilience that they upped their game in McCaw's absence. They were all over Australia in that 10-minute period. In the end they only won it 3-0, but it was a huge statement.

And at the end of it Australia too had lost a player to the bin as lock Rob Simmons was sent packing for dangerous play at the line out, lifting the leg of a New Zealand player as the All Blacks drove powerfully forward.

Now there was a very different outcome to the numerical advantage. With McCaw back on, New Zealand scored two tries in Simmons's absence.

The first was a penalty try. Australia had been given a warning just beforehand with the first scrummage of the match when they had been destroyed. So when faced with a second scrummage five metres out, you would have thought that they might have added a back to their seven-man effort.

They didn't, and were shunted backwards at a rate of knots. The penalty try was inevitable, and Australia were fortunate that they did not receive a second yellow card. James Slipper or Nic White could easily have gone.

New Zealand's second try was a classic. Australia attacked hard down the left with a superb Israel Folau break and he might have looked left for support, and he might have been unlucky that a high Cory Jane tackle was not punished.

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Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
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