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All Blacks thrash Australia on eve of World Cup

The reigning champions hammered their Trans Tasman rivals 34-6 in Auckland.

FILE: It was a tight affair up until the 20 minute mark before Dane Coles ran in a 30m try, showing a clean pair of heels for a number two. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As Richie McCaw became the most capped rugby player of all time as he ran out for his 142 Test match, the All Blacks put in a performance to remember just weeks before the Rugby World Cup.

The reigning champions, who watched Australia win the Rugby Championship last week, hammered their Trans Tasman rivals 34-6 in Auckland.

It was a tight affair up until the 20 minute mark before Dane Coles ran in a 30m try, showing a clean pair of heels for a number two. Dan Carter and Quade Cooper then traded penalties as the host went into the break 13-6 up.

Seven minutes into the second half, Cooper was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Aaron Smith just short of the line as referee Nigel Owens immediately ran under the posts to award a penalty try. From there the flood gates really opened up as two further Ma'a Nonu tries were complimented by a Conrad Smith try.

There was a consolation try from the Wallabies as Israel Folau crossed the line but it did very little to change the scoreline as New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup with a convincing 41-13 win in Auckland.