All Blacks win 41-33 v Wallabies
The All Black machine continues to plough on through opposing teams. Among those with an unstoppable motor is Sam Cane who gave one of his greatest performances so far in the Number 7 jersey. Israel Dagg also rediscovered his form, making some amazing breaks with that big grin he always seems to wear with ball in hand. Aaron Cruden may have started with a botched kick, but the rest of his kicking game, both at the posts and into the hands of Julian Savea were outstanding. Crudes even scored for a try, bringing his personal haul to 23 points in this match.
A lot of All Blacks shone throughout the game, which is exactly what fans want to see. From Brodie Retallick’s performance, coming in from the bench early in the second half, to Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read and Ma’a Nonu on defense. Read scored yet another try, proving how dominant he has become. Nonu lifted his game, saved a try and covered well for, an at times, struggling Ben Smith.
I was particularly thrilled to see Charles Piutau make such an impressive showing on his first start. He tackled with authority and was a big part in snuffing out a Wallabies offense that tested the boys in black. Piutau came in at the eleventh hour as replacement for injured Cory Jane and proved he deserves future starts.
While the Wallabies played really well, at least one of the tries was literally handed to them by an overconfident Savea. Even so, this is the highest score the Wallabies have put on the board against us in New Zealand. Fortunately, our own attack was sharper and we made fewer silly mistakes. Quade Cooper even looks like he’s improved, though nothing will warm me to him given his past history. However, good job to the Wallabies for being willing to play and produce an enjoyable 80 minutes of rugby. Good luck on your Northern Tour!