Bledisloe Cup: What We Know Now

Bledisloe Cup: What We Know Now

1     After their first half tactical build-up and second half demolition of the Wallabies, the All Blacks have restored their status as red-hot favourites for the World Cup.

2     What an idyllic farewell to Test rugby on home soil that was for Richie McCaw in his 142nd Test – an unprecedented achievement in the annals of Rugby Union by what may well be the greatest player in the history of the game.

3     How good it was to see Dan Carter magic of old, the difference Ma’a Nonu mades as playmaker and creator, finisher, defender, and for controlled aggression, the return of Kieran Read to top form, and consummate class from Ben Smith and Conrad Smith. 

4     Aaron Smith may make errors in decision-making and execution, but he is the most dangerous number 9 in world rugby.

5     Victor Vito has nudged ahead of Jerome Kaino and Liam Messam as New Zealand’s first-choice blindside flank.

6     Sam Whitelock starting ahead of Luke Romano is a significant step-up for the All Blacks.

7     Repeatedly kicking the ball behind the Wallabies in the first half paid dividends for the All Blacks as they manipulated the visitors’ defence and helped to set up their four second half tries when they had more space to run at the Wallabies defence.

8     Quade Cooper’s reckless high tackle on Aaron Smith cost him a yellow card, his team seven points immediately, and a total of 21 points while he sat in the ‘sin-bin’. Another unhappy game for Cooper in New Zealand.

9     Other than flashes of brilliance from Israel Folau, there are few positives for Australia to take out of the game. Five tries to a solitary late consolation try tells the story.

10     What a pleasure it was to have Nigel Owens offer yet another excellent display of accuracy, communication, and composure. He is the best referee in the world by a country mile.

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