Saturday, July 31, 2010
The All Blacks continued their fine form in this years Tri Nations as they won the first of their Bledisloe Cup encounters with Australia 49-28 in Melbourne. They now lead the tournament by an imposing 11 points.
Drew Mitchell had an eventful night on the wing for Australia as he started well with a nice try after charging down a Dan Carter clearing kick. Carter hit back instantly with a charge down try of his own, aided by Maa Nonu.
New Zealand went on to lead 32-14 at the halftime break after both sides had players yellow carded for shoulder charges. Mitchell was one of those players. He infringed in the second half after the side were warned about slowing the ball down. He did so, and was shown a second yellow card, resulting in a rare red card for such an offence.
Referee Craig Joubert called Mitchell across, along with frustrated captain Rocky Elsom, telling Elsom "It's not my responsibility what this decision has on the game," before red carding the Wallaby winger.
The game was already seemingly out of reach for the Wallabies who then had to face the battle of playing the next 37 minutes against a rampant All Black side while having just 14 men on the park.
The visitors had scored four tries in the first half, through Carter, Mils Muliaina, Richie McCaw, and Cory Jane. Each one of those players showed their class on the night once again. Muliaina scored again in the second half after some fantastic play by Brad Thorn and Corey Jane, as did Joe Rokocoko and Corey Flynn.
"To score seven tries against Australia in Australia is a great performance," All Blacks coach Graham Henry said."I thought there was some scintillating rugby and the game has improved immensely this year as a spectacle and we're pleased to be part of that."
It was their 12th consecutive Test win and their eighth in a row over the Wallabies. Both sides meet again next weekend in Christchurch.
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