Rugby Championship: New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup against Australia
Last Updated: 25/08/13 8:18am
Fly-half Tom Taylor made a dream debut as his 14-point haul helped New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup against Australia for the 11th successive season with a comfortable 27-16 victory at Westpac Stadium.
The Wallabies knew they had to win the second Test in Wellington to keep their hopes alive after the All Blacks won the opening game in Sydney last week with a 47-29 victory.
Ewen McKenzie had retained the same starting side, except for one change, and the visitors quickly repaid the faith show in them by the coach by opening up a early 6-0 lead thanks to the boot of Christian Lealiifano.
However, Steve Hansen's side turned up the heat and Ben Smith, who scored a hat-trick in last weekend's thumping, was at it again with two tries before the break.
Smith has a prolific try-scoring record in Test matches this season has now scored seven tries in his last four New Zealand appearances.
They were given a fright when speedster Israel Folau ran over the whitewash with a late 70-yard interception for this third Test try with seven minutes remaining.
Center Christian Leali'ifano converted, adding to his nine points in the match.
But it was left to Israel Dagg to make sure of victory with a simple late penalty to make it Test win number 101 over their trans-Tasman rivals.
The All Blacks still had lineout problems, although it was more solid than a week ago, and conceded too many turnovers for their own liking.
But they commanded the scrums and created havoc in the Wallabies defence when they switched on their fast-paced game.
Australia's revised tactic of swapping an expansive running game for the boot of Matt Toomua to keep them at the right end of the field failed to put enough pressure on their superior opponents.
The Aussies have now not beaten the All Blacks in their past 15 games in New Zealand and must face them again for the final time in Dunedin on October 19.