Rugby Championship: New Zealand thrash Australia; South Africa beat Argentina

Rieko Ioane scores a try for New Zealand against Australia in Sydney
Rieko Ioane scored two tries for New Zealand against Australia in Sydney
Australia v New Zealand
Australia (6) 34
Tries: Rona, Kuridrani, Beale, Folau Cons: Foley 3 Pen: Foley 2
New Zealand (40) 54
Tries: Squire, Ioane 2, Crotty 2, Williams, McKenzie, Smith Cons: Barrett 7

New Zealand hammered Australia 54-34 in their Rugby Championship opener.

The All Blacks were exceptional in the first half in Sydney and, with the help of three tries in seven minutes, stormed to a 40-6 lead at half-time.

Rieko Ioane and Ryan Crotty each scored two tries for New Zealand, while Liam Squire, Sonny Bill Williams, Damian McKenzie and Ben Smith went over.

Meanwhile, South Africa ran in four tries as they powered to a 37-15 win over Argentina.

The sides face each other again next Saturday.

New Zealand flanker Jerome Kaino missed the match. He flew home after details about an alleged extra-marital affair emerged in the Australian press hours before kick-off.

The Kiwis led 54-6 at one point in the second half before late tries from the home side rescued some pride.

Australia's tries came from Curtis Rona, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau.

"It was pretty surreal that first half to be honest," said New Zealand captain Kieran Read

"We came here to play our game and it really came off. It was a pretty awesome first half.

"It came about by the doing the simple things. We carried really hard and exploited a few gaps out wide."

South Africa v Argentina
South Africa (13) 37
Tries: Skosan, Rhule, Kolisi, Du Toit Cons: Jantjies 4 Pens: Jantjies 3
Argentina (5) 15
Tries: Landajo, Boffelli Con: Hernandez Pen: Sanchez

Ghana-born Raymond Rhule and fellow winger Courtnall Skosan scored their first international tries as South Africa claimed victory over Argentina in Port Elizabeth.

The Springboks dominated the physical contest and also secured tries through flanker Siya Kolisi and lock Pieter-Steph du Toit for their fourth victory in a row after a 3-0 series victory over France.

Argentina managed tries through experienced scrum-half Martin Landajo and winger Emiliano Boffelli.

"We couldn't have asked for a better start (to the competition)," said South Africa captain Eben Etzebeth.

Raymond Rhule
Rhule rounded off some slick handling to go over for his try

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