RECAP: New Zealand v Australia
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to this Bledisloe Cup Round Two encounter between New Zealand and Australia in Auckland.
At stake is not only the All Blacks’ 16-year grip on the cup, but also the defence of a phenomenal record at Eden Park where they have not been beaten in 42 Tests since 1994.
Another Australian triumph would also mark the first time since 2011 that the All Blacks have lost two matches in a row and, after their recent draw with South Africa, it would be the first time in 260 Tests since 1998 they have gone three successive matches without a win.
2019: Australia won 47-26, Perth
2018: New Zealand won 37-20, Yokohama
2018: New Zealand won 40-12, Auckland
2018: New Zealand won 38-13,
2017: Australia won 23-18, Brisbane
2017: New Zealand won 35-29, Dunedin
2017: New Zealand won 54-34, Sydney
2016: New Zealand won 37-10, Auckland
2016: New Zealand won 29-9, Wellington
2016: New Zealand won 42-8, Sydney
Prediction: Australia has won just two of their last 10 encounters with New Zealand, including last week’s 47-26 demolition. The last time the Wallabies won at Eden Park was on 6 September 1986 – a 22-9 triumph. This Auckland venue has been described as the All Blacks’ field of dreams and the Wallabies’ worst nightmare. We also know the New Zealand team won’t stay down for too long and that is why we back them to win by about 10 points and retain the Bledisloe Cup.
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New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 George Bridge; 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Thomas Perenara, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jordie Barrett.
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Reece Hodge, 13 James O’Connor, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)