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All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup with crushing win

The ALL Blacks secured a 51-20 victory over Australia at Eden Park, holding the Bledisloe Cup.

FILE. The ALL Blacks secured a 51-20 victory over Australia at Eden Park, holding the Bledisloe Cup. Picture: AFP.

AUCKLAND - New Zealand's forwards responded to criticism of their performance in their opening Rugby Championship clash to set the foundation for a 51-20 victory over Australia at Eden Park on Saturday that also ensured the retention of the Bledisloe Cup.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who was sin binned early in the game, scored two tries while Kieran Read, Julian Savea and Steven Luatua also crossed, with their pack awarded a penalty try as part of a record score against the Wallabies.

Fly half Aaron Cruden kicked five conversions and three penalties, while Wallabies fullback Israel Folau and captain Michael Hooper crossed for tries with Kurtley Beale adding two penalties and two conversions.

The victory ensured the Bledisloe Cup remained in New Zealand for the 12th successive year. The third match in Brisbane in October is now a dead rubber in terms of the battle for the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy.

Maligned for their failure to combat the Wallabies' intensity in the 12-12 draw in Sydney last week, New Zealand's forwards tore into their Australian counterparts, intent on protecting a formidable 20-year unbeaten record at Eden Park.

"We put the acid on those guys to front up this week," McCaw told reporters of his tight five's efforts.

"We looked at what happened last week and for a lot of the game we were getting beaten in the contact areas. They knew that and they set the platform for some go forward ball.

"Rugby is a hell of a lot easier when you win the contact."

While Cruden and Beale traded early penalties, the sin binning of McCaw in the 13th minute for a professional foul galvanised the home side, who controlled the ball the entire time their captain was on the side-line.

With the All Blacks leading 9-6, the tide of the match turned when Wallabies lock Rob Simmons was sin binned just as McCaw was returning and the home side attacked the visitors' scrum.