Record-breaking All Blacks sidestep clown affair

Julian Savea runs in a try during New Zealand's Bledisloe Cup win against Australia.

Story highlights

  • All Blacks set world record with 18 straight wins
  • Game followed accusations of a lack of respect
  • Attention turns to northern hemisphere rugby with autumn internationals

(CNN)The mighty All Blacks have underlined their dominance of the game, setting a world record of 18 straight Test wins with victory over the Wallabies in the third Bledisloe Cup game of the season.

Australia went down 37-10 at Eden Park in Auckland, prompting Wallabies coach Michael Cheika to say: "The way they play the game is outstanding."
    According to the All Blacks official website, Cheika said of their record-breaking run: "I don't think they need our comments.
    "We have to learn that you cannot turn the ball over against these chaps because they will punish you."
    His reaction follows a bad-tempered atmosphere between the fierce rivals ahead of Saturday's game and in the post-match reaction.
    The New Zealand Herald earlier published a full page cartoon of Cheika with a red nose and under the heading "Send in the clowns."
    Australian captain Steven Moore was quoted by the newspaper as saying it had been "disrespectful."
    And Cheika echoed the comment in his post-match interview on the official Wallabies website.
    New Zealand coach Steve Hansen downplayed the clown incident after the record-breaking win, denying that the All Blacks lacked respect.
    "Our guys respect them a lot, we went to war with these guys," he said on the All Blacks site.
    "At what point does winning mean you are not respecting them."
    The win marks another high point for New Zealand. The team made a clean sweep in The Rugby Championship, finishing top of the southern hemisphere competition with six victories and 30 points.
    All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett was top scorer with 81 points, and the top try scorer was teammate Ben Smith with five.
    The focus will shortly move to the northern hemisphere with the autumn internationals. Ireland has the toughest task in the first round of matches on November 5 as it takes on the record-breaking All Blacks, while Australia faces Wales in Cardiff.