Tokyo was the venue for the fourth Bledisloe Cup Test match between arch rivals New Zealand and Australia. A near capacity 44 000 turned out at the Olympic Stadium to watch the All Blacks comfortable 32-19 win.
Its been a clean sweep for them, winning all four Tests of this series, taking their tally to seven in a row against their neighbours Australia.
For the losing side, there was some consolation in that they scored their first try against NZ since their first meeting in the Tri Nations in July.
Australia led 16-13 at half time following the Peter Hynes try in the corner. New Zealand grabbed the lead again though when Sitiveni Sivivatu dived over in the corner after some great hands by Captain Richie McCaw.
Sivivatu was yellow carded for a reckless tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper in the air, and has since been suspended for a week.
Conrad Smith scored another try as he breezed through some questionable tackling, before Dan Carter extended the lead with some quality goal kicking.
“We needed to be able to put seven and eight phases together and we would have been looking pretty good,” said Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom. “For whatever reason we couldn’t do that and it cost us as we really needed tries there.”
“We obviously weren’t good enough,” he said.
The match ended with a bit of a scrap, for which Tony Woodcock has also been suspended for a week, as he elbowed George Smith.
Both he and Sivivatu will miss the Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium next weekend, which is the start of New Zealands tour. They will take on Wales, Italy, England, France, and the Barbarians.
Australia travel to Britain and Ireland as they have their first Grand Slam attempt in 25 years. They start with a midweek match against Gloucester on Tuesday though.