Win Clarke Stars in All Blacks


New Zealand defeated Australia in the second test in front of 46,900 spectators at Eden Park in Auckland

Last update: 10/18/20 8:26 am

Caleb Clarke is taking a break for New Zealand

Caleb Clarke fueled a struggling All Blacks team, beating Australia 27-7 in their second rugby test in the Bledisloe Cup on Sunday.

In his first appearance after debuting off the bench in the First Test last weekend, Clarke became the All Blacks' most dangerous weapon. He carried the ball with ferocity and made great strides in the Australian defense.

In the first half, he helped spark a lethargic and pressured New Zealand team. Most of his damaging runs were out of defense, but still drew 46,900 spectators at Auckland's Eden Park.

Jordie Barrett scores for the All Blacks

Jordie Barrett scores for the All Blacks

In the 45th minute, however, he received a rare chance to attack in the open. James O'Connor, half of the Wallabies fly, distorted a clearing kick infield and fell on Clarke in open space. He made his way into the field with increasing dynamism, first running back and forth between two defenders and then defending another. Like a snowball downhill, he gathered pace and energy and more defenders fell at his feet.

Eventually, and after more than 40 yards, his progress was stopped, but the All Blacks quickly recycled possession and the ball was moved to Ardie Savea who scored a try that gave the All Blacks their first sense of comfort.

New Zealand had a brittle 10-7 lead at halftime but an attempt to boost Jordie Barrett and Clarke's gift to Savea made the game safe for the home team. New Zealand had not been beaten by any team at Eden Park since 1994 and Australia had not been beaten by Australia since 1986 before any of the current teams were born.

Nic White (L) confronts TJ Perenara

Nic White (L) confronts TJ Perenara

Australia started again the strongest, as in the first test in Wellington. They kept the ball through several phases, forcing the All Blacks into numerous tackles, which were hit hard in the collisions and took a heavy physical toll.

The first points of the game did not come until the 17th minute when the All Blacks gained overdue possession and began testing the Australian defense, causing a penalty for half-flight Richie Mounga.

The All Blacks briefly got the upper hand and attacked again. From a five-meter scrum near the center of the right touchline, Jack Goodhue fell into the middle of the wallaby defense. The ball was quickly recycled and Aaron Smith shot around the edge to score.

The first half continued at a fast pace, with the ball frequently pinging between teams as it was moved in tough tackles. The wallabies were as quick as in the first test to smell and take advantage of opportunities for attack.

Marika Koroibete scored the only attempt for the wallabies

Marika Koroibete scored the only attempt for the wallabies

When the hillbilly Ned Hanigan cracked the All Black defense in the 29th minute, he was able to connect with captain Michael Hooper. The Wallabies had numbers on the left and after prop Taniela Tupou held the defense, the ball quickly moved left to winger Marika Koroibete, who scored a goal.

New Zealand was happy to be able to clear the ball to the touch and go into the locker rooms with a lead of three points at half time.

They came out with more intent in the second spell, quickly scoring a goal through Jordie Barrett, then Savea to extend their lead to 20-7.

Australia were twice rejected at critical moments, which kept the tide of the game in favor of the New Zealanders. Mounga made an attempt to save wallaby winger Marika Koroibete in the 50th minute and Australian whore Brandon Paenga-Amosa was denied an attempt after she snapped a minute later.

New Zealand regained momentum with an attempt against Cane initiated by Beauden Barrett in the 54th minute.

Barrett, who missed the first test due to injury, also brought a sharper advantage to the All Blacks attack.

The teams are now heading to Australia, where they will meet for the first two tests of the rugby championship on October 31st and November 7th.


Steven Gregory