Clinical New Zealand set Tri-Nations record in Australia win

Dan Carter
Carter was at the heart of every New Zealand attack

Dan Carter was instrumental as New Zealand beat Australia 30-14 to claim a record ninth straight Tri-Nations victory at Eden Park.

The World Cup favourites scored tries through Ma'a Nonu, Keven Mealamu and Sitiveni Sivivatu to take control.

Australia rallied and Digby Ioane and captain Rocky Elsom scored after the break to close the gap.

But Carter kicked 15 points - including a rare drop-goal - as the All Blacks triumphed in Auckland.

New Zealand made seven changes for the clash and fielded the oldest starting line-up in Tri-Nations history.

They looked fresh enough though as Carter opened the scoring with a 40m penalty in the sixth minute to extend his all-time Test points record before Nonu crashed over for a close-range try at the end of a fine counter-attack.

Carter converted to put the All Blacks 10-0 ahead inside 10 minutes before Nonu wasted a chance to put Sitiveni Sivivatu in for another try on the overlap.

Australia then rallied to mount some concerted pressure on the New Zealand line and winger Ioane almost scored in the corner but was unable to gather a long cross-field kick.

And the hosts fought back to increase their lead in the 26th minute when hooker Mealamu drove over after captain Richie McCaw was held up just short.

Australia winger James O'Connor missed the chance to reduce the deficit when he sliced two penalties wide from similar positions wide on the left touchline as the Wallabies dominated possession without scoring before half-time.

O'Connor started the second half by missing another penalty before Carter put the first points of the half on the board with a drilled drop-goal from 25 metres - only his third in Test rugby.

Australia finally got on the scoresheet with the try of the match in the 51st minute.

Full-back Kurtley Beale broke from his own 22 before feeding Ioane to run in a stunning long-range try.

Quade Cooper took over the goal-kicking duties and converted to make the scores 20-7.

But New Zealand scored direct from kick-off as Conrad Smith collected the kick before passing inside for Sivivatu to dive over.

Carter converted the try and added a penalty before Elsom scored a deserved try for Australia after cutting in powerfully from the right flank.

Cooper kicked the conversion but New Zealand were comfortable winners to move clear at the top of the table.

New Zealand: Mils Muliaina, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear, Daniel Carter, Piri Weepu; Wyatt Crockett, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brad Thorn, Ali Williams, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read. Replacements: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Samuel Whitelock, Adam Thomson, Andy Ellis, Colin Slade, Sonny Bill Williams.

Australia: Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Rocky Elsom, David Pocock, Ben McCalman. Replacements: Saia Faingaa, Pek Cowan, Dan Vickerman, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, Anthony Fainga'a, Lachie Turner.

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