Naholo excels as All Blacks blitz sinks Wallabies

Aubrey Yates
August 20, 2018

Crotty, in Saturday night's 38-13 victory over the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium that wedged one meaty paw on to the prized Bledisloe Cup, suffered his sixth head knock in the last 20 months when he copped "friendly fire" from Jack Goodhue that coach Steve Hansen confirmed "knocked him out".

Of even greater concern for the Wallabies than being without their attacking trump is fixing their shaky set piece after losing seven of their eight lineouts and conceding several scrum penalties in the series opener.

AFTER suffering a third successive Sydney hammering to the All Blacks, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says his side is improving - but they must develop a tougher mentality.

Captain Kieran Read made a solid return to the side after a long lay-off from back surgery while lock Brodie Retallick was brilliant in his first test for almost a year, scoring a second-half try and adding a huge drive to the All Blacks' scrum. "We've got to bring everything we've got on Saturday".

At the start it was the Wallabies who set the defensive tone.

"I was happy going into halftime", Wallabies captain Hooper said.

The back to back world player of the year had entered the match under unprecedented pressure as a chorus of Kiwi observers spruiked the case of Crusaders tyro Richie Mo'unga.

"The boys are hurting at the moment and to come here and play at Eden Park is something we're looking forward to". If we held that for one or two phases of play, we were probably walking one in.

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New Zealand gained a territorial advantage late in the first half, and it produced a try from scrumhalf Aaron Smith.

Fullback Ben Smith made a break down the right edge after beating Lukhan Tui's tackle, and the ball went to Waisake Naholo.

Naholo had earlier done the damage deep in defence, stripping the ball off fellow Fiji-born winger Marika Koroibete two minutes into the second half.

"Whether it's a game here in Sydney against New Zealand, in Auckland, or in South Africa".

Hansen said wing Rieko Ioane was sidelined after picking up a hamstring tear in Sydney.

Rubbing salt into the wound was an ankle injury to Wallabies superstar Israel Folau, who limped off in the second half and must be in severe doubt for the rematch in Auckland.

Yet heading to hoodoo ground Eden Park for the second Bledisloe Cup match on Saturday, Australia's task has been made even more hard by the All Blacks declaring they will be hungrier to win.

But the All Blacks were in command and scored again when Barrett put a perfectly-weighted kick into Naholo's path.

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