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'We're hurting': Wallabies humiliated in worst-ever loss to All-Blacks

Australian Associated Press
·4-min read
A 50-50 split image shows the All-Blacks celebrating on the left, and Wallabies players looking dejected on the right.
The All-Blacks won their 18th Bledisloe Cup in a row by handing the Wallabies a humiliating 42-5 defeat, the most comprehensive win over Australia in 117 years. Pictures: Getty Images

The Wallabies have endured a Halloween nightmare to hand the All Blacks the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th straight year.

New Zealand piled on six tries to one, with five-eighth and man-of-the-match Richie Mo'unga bagging a brilliant double and a 23-point personal haul as the All Blacks seized an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the four-game series with a record-breaking 43-5 rout on Saturday night.

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"We're hurting a lot from that," Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said.

"It's a hit to the confidence now.

"We've got to go back and look at sticking to our game plan."

The 38-point drubbing was the worst loss the Wallabies had suffered at the hands of the All-Blacks in 117 years, and the most comprehensive defeat since losing 43-6 in Wellington back in 1996.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie handed Test debuts to five-eighth Noah Lolesio and inside centre Irae Simone, marking the first time in 73 years that Australia had blooded a rookie 10-12 combination against the All Blacks.

But the daring move backfired, Mo'unga's mastery schooling Lolesio as the 20-year-old's forgettable first half helped the All Blacks bolt to a 26-0 lead at the break.

Defending at fullback, Lolesio struggled with his positional play as the All Blacks, armed with more than 60 per cent possession and territory, mounted attack after attack.

Lolesio's kicking game was also poor.

But the young playmaker was far from alone in having an off night.

Wallabies thrashed in humiliating Bledisloe surrender

Three-Test winger Filipo Daugunu crashed back to earth from the highs of his Wellington debut in the series-opening draw, a succession of handling errors and his early stint in the sin-bin also hurting the Wallabies.

Daugunu vowed pre-game to put a hit on his All Blacks opposite and Bledisloe II chief destroyer Claeb Clarke but got his timing badly wrong, leaving the Wallabies with 14 men in just the third minute after taking out his opposing winger in mid-air.

The All Blacks wasted no time making the Wallabies pay, prop Karl Tu'inukuafe crossing two minutes later for the first try of the night.

The All-Blacks are pictured celebrating after winning the Bledisloe Cup.
The All-Blacks celebrate after winning their 18th Bledisloe Cup in a row with their 42-5 defeat of the Wallabies, their biggest win in 117 years. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

In an action-packed opening quarter of an hour, New Zealand winger Jordie Barrett was sent to the sin-bin for elbowing Wallabies fullback Dane Haylett-Petty before the TMO Angus Gardner denied the All Blacks two more tries in the space of four minutes.

First, hooker Dane Coles was deemed to have knocked the ball on over the line after showing great foot speed to reel in Mo'unga's probing cross-field kick.

Then Marika Koroibete miraculously forced Clarke dead in goal with a brilliant, George Gregan-esque, trysaver.

All-Blacks hands Wallabies lesson in consistency

But there was no let-up from the All Blacks and they inevitably claimed their second try when Mounga switched inside and beat Wallabies hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa, then Nic White and Lolesio for pace to dive over in the corner.

Mo'unga was in again shortly after when he collected a lovely chip kick from Beauden Barrett and raced 70 metres to score.

Coles wasn't denied for a second time when he cashed in on the All Blacks' deadly driving maul on the half hour.

Marika Koroibete is pictured after the Wallabies' loss to the All-Blacks.
Marika Koroibete of the Wallabies looks dejected after losing the 2020 Bledisloe Cup in a historic defeat. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A destructive solo run from fellow young gun Jordan Petaia led to Lolesio charging over for Australia's only try of the game two minutes into the second half.

But further five-pointers to Rieko Ioane and Jordie Barrett completed the drubbing, the All Blacks' winning margin the biggest over the Wallabies in 169 trans-Tasman Tests stretching back to 1903.

"They were very clinical," Hooper said.

"They played the conditions really well, jumped on a lot of loose ball.

"I just don't think we were accurate.

"So again giving away possession too easily and then we didn't kick smart."

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