Retallick: All Blacks had point to prove
August 24, 2014
New Zealand 51-20 Australia (video available in Australia only)
Lock Brodie Retallick admits the All Blacks had a point to prove heading into the second Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Auckland. So the satisfaction is understandable when the result is a 51-20 thumping of the Wallabies to lock up the Bledisloe Cup for the 12th year in a row.
The All Blacks retained the Bledisloe for a 12th straight year © Getty Images
The scoreline and performance represented a huge turnaround from the 12-12 draw in Sydney, where the New Zealanders struggled to get into the contest. At Eden Park, with Retallick and the rest of the tight five laying the foundation, they cut loose with a high-tempo, high-intensity display that overwhelmed the Australians.
"We probably had a good look at ourselves and we knew we could be a lot better that we were last week," Retallick said. "If we're going to get dominated up front, it's going to make it so much harder for the backs.I guess we were out to prove a point to everyone, but also to ourselves, that we were up for the job."
The All Blacks scored six tries to two, three of them through forward power in the set pieces. One came from a penalty try for an Australian collapse as the All Blacks were pushing over from a five-metre scrum. The others, both to skipper Richie McCaw, came from line-out drives that the Wallabies couldn't contain.
The Rugby Championship takes a break next weekend and New Zealand are back in action on September 6 when they host Argentina in Napier. Retallick said the key now for the All Blacks would be to keep their feet on the ground.
"We know we can put a performance on the field like we did," he said. "The challenge is to do it again in two weeks."