Brad Lewis: What we learned from the All Blacks' demolition of the Wallabies

OPINION: The Bledisloe Cup is in hibernation for another 12 months after the All Blacks blew away the Wallabies at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday night.

The 40-12 win again proved the class of this particular group of players. Plenty can be gleaned from another impressive display from the world champions.

The selectors have a Rugby World Cup headache


Five can't go into four. That's the conundrum the team's selectors will face come time for World Cup selection in 2019, in regards to the makeup of their midfield.

In 2015, coach Steven Hansen and his merry men picked four - Malakai Fekitoa, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Sonny Bill Williams. You would expect it will be a similar story next year. One of SBW, Ryan Crotty, Ngani Laumape, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown is going to miss out.

It could be more if guys like Vince Aso and Matt Proctor perform at elite level in Super Rugby.

Personally I think if Crotty is fit, he goes. The Crusaders star can cover both 13 and 12 with equal expertise.

Goodhue is a lock. He is the future and his performance last night backed up a stellar showing in Sydney.

You're kidding yourself if you don't think the selectors will pick Sonny Bill Williams. He is going if fit.

So that leaves Laumape and Lienert-Brown.

I thought the Hurricanes second-five rebounded superbly well after being sent a message from selectors a few weeks back. He is very different to the other candidates and that could be his point of difference.

Lienert-Brown has never let the jersey down - and dependability is something the selectors love.

So good luck to Shag and the boys in coming up with the mix for Japan. Make no mistake about, one very good All Black won't be on the plane in 2019.

It doesn't matter where Ben Smith plays


My colleague Stephen Foote quite rightly wrote last week that 'Bender' is the best fullback in the world, so keep him in the 15 jersey. I agree with that, but Smith proved last night he just might be the best right winger in world rugby as well.

It was a flawless performance from the most underrated player in the side.

Smith is the new Conrad Smith. The Highlanders captain is the most reliable player in the team, whose presence would be sorely missed if he wasn't there.

He will slot back into fullback when Rieko Ioane returns, but it is comforting for All Black fans that they have the only player in world rugby, who is the best player in the world, in two positions.

If the All Blacks play near 100 percent, no one is stopping them


For five straight tests in 2018 the All Blacks have led by seven or less at halftime. In four of those, they have racked up a big score in the second half. The only anomaly to that was ironically the match in Wellington against France when they were playing 14 men - the All Blacks lost the second 40 minutes 7-5.

Both the Wallabies and the French have proven they can hang with this New Zealand side for close to 40 minutes, but once the lead stretches beyond seven points it's generally lights out for the opposition.

Ireland struggled to put the Wallabies away in June, and they are the best-equipped side to halt the All Black machine with their stifling defence and halfback/first-five combination of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton running the cutter.

But if the All Blacks hit top gear, they have proved no one can stop them - no one will stop them from winning a third World Cup on the bounce.

It's no guarantee as we have found out in the past, but barring an early send-off, or a display similar to that in Chicago a few years back, this All Black side is destined to make history in 2019.

Brad Lewis is a digital sports producer for Newshub.