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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 July 2006, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
New Zealand 32-12 Australia
Keven Mealamu
All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu scored twice to sink Australia

New Zealand: (14) 32
Tries: Mealamu (2), McCaw, Toeava
Cons: Carter (3)
Pens: Carter (2)

Australia: (7) 12
Tries: Tuqiri, Fava
Cons: Mortlock

New Zealand overpowered Australia in an absorbing opener to the 2006 Tri-Nations tournament in Christchurch.

The All Blacks extended their winning streak in home Tests to 19 with two tries from hooker Keven Mealamu and one each for Richie McCaw and Isaia Toeava.

Mealamu struck twice with Australia down to 14 men to cancel Lote Tuqiri's score and lead 14-7 at the break.

McCaw's try took the Kiwis clear and Toeava's bonus-point score sealed it as the Wallabies suffered at the scrum.

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New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter slotted three conversions and two penalties but missed a handful of kicks, while Stirling Mortlock was successful with just one conversion.

Both kickers wasted early penalty chances during a bruising softening-up period but the deadlock was broken by the individual enterprise of Australia's Chris Latham.

The full-back received a New Zealand re-start and gathered his own chip over the top to feed Mat Rogers.

The centre scythed deep into All Blacks' territory before slinging a pass back in-field for Tuqiri to romp home on 15 minutes.

Lote Tuqiri
Australia's Tuqiri scored the opening try after 15 minutes

Mortlock converted and a second missed Carter penalty cheered Australia further.

But their world fell apart when number eight Rocky Elsom was yellow-carded for back-chat to the referee on 26 minutes.

Kiwi wing Rico Gear went close soon after following a sweeping New Zealand move into the right corner, and Mealamu caught the ensuing line-out throw to flop over.

Carter converted and heavy New Zealand pressure yielded Mealamu's second score on 35 minutes after good forward work from close range.

Fly-half Carter landed his second kick to complete a 14-point haul with Elsom off the pitch, and notched a penalty soon after the interval to increase the lead by 10 points.

The creaking Australians were holed again when McCaw poached a try after Stephen Larkham failed to gather Aaron Mauger's grubber kick towards the line.

But the wounded Wallabies hit back immediately when replacement Scott Fava burrowed over from close range.

Carter stretched New Zealand's lead with a second penalty shortly after but Australia upped their intensity and went close twice, through Tuqiri in the left corner and a forward effort ruled out by the video official.

But the Wallabies were unable to make further inroads and they were finally sunk when Kiwi replacement Toeava completed a stunning All Black counter-attack at the death.


New Zealand: L MacDonald; R Gear, M Muliaina, A Mauger, J Rokocoko; D Carter, B Kelleher; T Woodcock, K Mealamu, C Hayman, C Jack, J Eaton, J Collins, R McCaw (captain), R So'oialo.
Replacements: A Hore, G Somerville, A Williams, C Masoe, P Weepu, L McAlister, I Toeava.

Australia: C Latham; M Gerrard, S Mortlock, M Rogers, L Tuqiri; S Larkham, G Gregan (captain); G Holmes, T McIsaac, G Shepherdson, N Sharpe, D Vickerman, M Chisholm, G Smith, R Elsom.
Replacements: J Paul, A Baxter, S Fava, P Waugh, S Cordingley, M Giteau, B Tune.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (SA).

SEE ALSO
New Zealand v Australia photos
08 Jul 06 |  Photo Galleries
Clockwatch: NZ 32-12 Australia
08 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Wallaby Heenan out for six months
07 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Gregan - Wallabies must improve
05 Jul 06 |  Internationals
New Zealand ire at 'handbag haka'
06 Jul 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Muliaina wins outside centre role
04 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Nonu to miss most of Tri-Nations
03 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Thorne back in All Blacks squad
26 Jun 06 |  Internationals
New Zealand 34-24 Australia
03 Sep 05 |  Internationals


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