The All Blacks put on a captivating display of free-flowing rugby to wrap up the inaugural Rugby Championship title with a round to spare on the weekend, while the Wallabies suffered yet another serious injury blow as they rolled over for the South Africans.
A carnival atmosphere greeted the World Champions in La Plata, and the hosts opened with fire in the bellies, scoring the first try of the match after a scintillating set-piece from a line-out.
From there it was all the All Blacks though, as they kicked into gear and put on the performance they had been craving all tournament.
Lead by the inspirational Kieran Read, a dominant figure both on defence and with ball in hand, the forwards set a perfect platform for the black-clad backs to unleash, and wingers Corey Jane and Julian Savea featured prominently on the scoresheet when fulltime rolled around, the All Blacks prevailing 54-15.
It’s almost unbelievable how unlucky the Wallabies have been with the injuries they’ve sustained this year, with Adam Ashley-Cooper the most serious casualty from their loss to the Springboks in Pretoria, which saw them finish the match with 14 men due to a lack of fit reserves.
Brian Habana scored a hattrick for the Springboks in a typically energetic display from the veteran winger, while halfback Ruan Pienaar was busy around the park and provided much needed accuracy in the goal kicking department.
The Wallabies face a tough task as they head to Argentina, with nothing but pride to play for and an injury list which will force them to bring in new players to a squad that is completely decimated. Meanwhile, the All Blacks travel to South Africa, determined to continue a winning streak which is nearing the world record of 18, held by minnows Lithuania.