There was a certain inevitability about the game at Eden Park this morning (our time) – despite their less than clinical approach, the All Blacks came out on top 37-10 to break the record for unbeaten games (now 18) and to increase their winning streak over the Wallabies at the venue to 17.
These same two sides reached the World Cup final less than a year ago and both have faced a rebuilding exercise following high profile retirements.
The All Blacks haven’t broken stride and now look a better team than even that which picked up the Webb Ellis trophy last year.
By comparison the Wallabies are struggling – but although the score line looks horrendous, Michael Chieka’s side had their moments and the statistics will show that they were more than competitive for much of the game. Against most other sides they would have had a chance – but the ABs are not most other sides.
Eddie Jones won’t be fooled by the result but will have taken notice of the running game that threatened to beat the AB defence.
I predicted yesterday that the All Blacks would win by 26 (or more) – so I was right (just!)
The way they are playing it would not be a huge surprise for the All Blacks to return from the autumn tests with the record stretched to 22.
The Lions may need to be the ones to stop them adding to the record next June – but I wouldn’t bet your house on it.
Finally a word for Nigel Owens – once again I thought he had a very good game – and before Australian fans complain about Henry Speight’s ‘try’ – it was the TMO who called it back after Nigel had initially awarded it.