Rugby Championship: New Zealand thrash Australia, South Africa defeat Argentina
New Zealand have beaten Australia 54-34 in the opening game of the Rugby Championship.
The All Blacks took a 40-6 lead into half time, with Liam Squire touching down after nine minutes.
Rieko Ioane and Ryan Crotty both scored twice and Sonny Bill Williams, returning after a four-game suspension, added New Zealand’s fifth.
Damian McKenzie and Ben Smith went over at the start of the second half to make it 54-6 before Australia replied with four successive tries.
Curtis Rona, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau scored as Australia dominated the final 30 minutes, but the damage had already been done.
South Africa defeated Argentina 37-15 in the day’s second match.
Elton Jantjies kicked through the posts twice to give South Africa the lead after a slow start.
Martin Landajo then scored Argentina’s first try before Courtnall Skosan crossed for his first international try.
Raymond Rhule then scored his first Springbok try at the start of the second half before Emiliano Bofelli pulled a try back.
Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit scored in the closing stages to complete South Africa’s victory.