All Blacks 51 – 20 Wallabies
Georgina Robinson at the Sydney Morning Herald writes:
There is no hiding at Eden Park.
But there was a hiding at Eden Park on Saturday night. And after a week of feeling grumpy, didn’t it feel fan-bloody-tastic to see normal transmission resumed?
First, top marks to Romain Poite for an excellent job with the whistle. Accurate and unobtrusive, he let the players decide the outcome. Three yellow cards might sound like an ill-disciplined match, but they were all appropriate. McCaw’s indiscretion was maybe uncharacteristic, but also an early indication of how desperate this furious All Blacks team were to set the record straight.
My man of the match was Brodie Retallick. Outstanding at the kick-off, direct in his carries, relentless in the tackle. Good honest graft.
The Smith Brothers showed their class. Aaron sniped, kicked and passed with precision: Ben caught, returned and tackled with courage, and Conrad used all his experience to direct his midfield troops with intelligence.
The only quibble was the fall-off in precision for a period in the fourth-quarter which allowed tries to Folau and Hooper (the picks of the Wallabies). Put it down to the unsettling effect of multiple substitutions, but it was disappointing to let the pressure off for even a moment.
Pumas 31 – 33 Springboks
Meanwhile there was heartbreak for the Pumas at home in Salta. Three tries apiece doesn’t tell the story of how dominant the Pumas were for the first hour. But credit to the Boks, they leant on their greater experience to sneak back in the last quarter.
What we’ll find out in the next few weeks is whether the Pumas have improved, or whether the Boks are going backwards.