Bledisloe Cup: Beauden Barrett bags four tries as All Blacks thump Wallabies

Make it a sweet 16.

That’s how many years the All Blacks have now held the Bledisloe Cup and on the evidence of 2018, it could be some time before the Wallabies wrestle it back, especially if Beauden Barrett has anything to do with it.

His virtuoso performance at Eden Park in a 40-12 victory was one of his best. Four tries, 30 points. It doesn’t get much better for the All Blacks number one, number 10. 

It had threatened to be quite a different night for Barrett and the All Blacks.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Wallabies were good enough for 40 minutes. 

But then the almost inevitable came and they couldn’t hide from the black wave. And with master and commander, the record-breaker Barrett at the helm, not many teams would’ve lived with the All Blacks on this day.

In front of nearly 50-thousand at Eden Park, Australia once again teased the rugby world with a spirited effort in the opening half. 

Barrett’s 13th minute try cancelled out by Will Genia’s clever snip from a midfield scrum that came after repeated penalties against the All Blacks front row.

The test was descending into arm wrestle, more to Australia’s liking than New Zealand’s.

But just before the half-time whistle, Barrett and the All Blacks struck and it would prove a decisive strike.

Ben Smith combined wonderfully with Codie Taylor down the right hand side and Barrett finished it essentially unopposed.

A seven point ball game at half-time. Not the worse result for the visitors, but not one Steven Hansen would’ve been smiling about.

But ten minutes into the second half and the All Blacks were gone.

The ruthless Rolls Royce was out of the garage and down the road with Joe Moody’s brute force and Liam Squire’s terrific line putting serious distance between the teams in a flash.

Like Sydney a week ago, this was game over with half an hour to play.

Reece Hodge crossed for the Australia’s second try in the 55th minute but that’d be if for the Wallabies, Barrett stepping up with a majestic display as he cut the visitors to shreds.

Slipping through some weak tackles and turning on the afterburners to complete a memorable hat-trick before finishing what could yet be the best try the All Blacks will score this year.

A Brodie Retallick turnover inside New Zealand's own 22m gave replacement Damian McKenzie space to run. And boy did he run, weaving 60 metres in fact before Anton Lienert-Brown and Ben Smith cantered forward to send Barrett away for a record fourth try. No All Black until tonight had scored four in a single game against the Wallabies.

Barrett’s points tally of 30 also a record against Australia, surpasses Andrew Mehrtens best of 29 in 1999.

This was Owen Franks’ night with test number 100. He’ll never forget it. Nor will the Eden Park faithful or the millions around the world forget the night Beauden Barrett underlined his status as the world’s best rugby player. 

All Blacks 40 Beauden Barrett (4), Moody, Squire tries, Barrett five conversions; Wallabies 12 Genia, Hodge tries, Foley conversion.

Newshub.

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