The All Blacks are the only unbeaten side after two rounds of the Rugby Championship, holding the Wallabies scoreless at Eden Park, and ensuring the Bledisloe Cup would spend another 12 months in the NZRFU’s trophy cabinet.
The Wallabies, under fire from the media, fans, and former players back home, were desperate for a solid performance against the world champions, but if anything the 22-nil scoreline flattered the Australian’s, who were outclassed in every aspect of the game.
If there was a shining light for the visitors it was their scrambling defence, which managed to keep the margin somewhat respectable. They did in fact keep the All Blacks try-less in the first half, but weight of position and pressure inevitably told early in the second half when Israel Dagg scored the game’s only try.
But the All Blacks were relentless, and on another day could have easily notched up half a century of points.
In Mendoza, Argentina hosted their first ever home-game in the Championship when the Springboks visited, and the hosts came breath-takingly close to a famous victory. Ahead by ten at the break it looked like Los Pumas might be able to grind out the win, but an intercept try to Franz Steyn with quarter of an hour to go tied the scores up.
In the end the Argentinians did well to hang on for the draw, with Morne Steyn missing a penalty attempt late in the match that would have sealed the win for the ‘Boks. But there was enough to suggest that it won’t be long before the passionate Argnetinian crowds see a home victory, and the Wallabies could well be involved in that history-making encounter, unless their form drastically improves in the coming weeks.