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SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) – The All Blacks crushed Australia 47-29 in the opening Rugby Championship Test in Sydney on Saturday, ensuring a torrid debut for new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.
The World Cup champions scored six tries to two to hammer the Australians, who were playing under McKenzie for the first time since he took over from Robbie Deans last month.
The All Blacks ruthlessly exploited the Wallabies' brittle defence and stormed home for a bonus-point victory and their 100th Test win over Australia after leading 25-19 at halftime.
Winger Ben Smith became the first All Black to score a hat-trick of Test tries in eight years with other tries to skipper Richie McCaw, Aaron Cruden and Conrad Smith.
Cruden, who had a fine match along with scrum-half Aaron Smith, finished with 20 points from his try, three conversions and three penalties.
It was the All Blacks' 15th win in their last 19 encounters against the Wallabies to maintain their dominance in the Bledisloe Cup, which they have held since 2003.
The optimism of a new start under McKenzie quickly died out, with dynamic winger Israel Folau hardly seeing the ball and debut fly-half Matt Toomua replaced by Quade Cooper on the hour.
The All Blacks hit the ground running and the Australians had to defend their line before Cruden put winger Ben Smith over in the right corner after James O'Connor left his wing to create the overlap in the third minute.
Christian Lealiifano reduced the margin with an eighth-minute penalty after Kieran Read was penalised for barging into Rob Simmons.
Kiwi skipper McCaw conceded a ruck penalty and Lealiifano kicked his second penalty to reduce the All Blacks' lead to one point.
McCaw redeemed himself when he won a ruck penalty for Cruden to kick the All Blacks to a 10-6 lead after 20 minutes.
Lealiifano kicked the Wallabies in front for the first time 12-10 with two penalties off ruck infringements.
But the All Blacks scored against the run of play when Cruden charged down Lealiifano's clearing kick to score and convert in the 29th minute for a 17-12 lead.
Worse was to come for the Wallabies minutes later when McCaw plunged over wide out for his ninth career Test try against Australia and push the All Blacks out to a 22-12 advantage.
Will Genia threw the Wallabies a lifeline minutes before the break with a sensational 60-metre try off a Michael Hooper break. Lealiifano converted and Australia trailed 22-19.
But Cruden kicked the All Blacks three points further ahead at halftime after the Wallabies were caught offside inside their own quarter.
The Wallabies began the second half on the front foot and forced a ruck penalty in front of the All Blacks post for Lealiifano's fifth straight penalty and trail 25-22.
But the All Blacks swiftly hit back for their bonus-point fourth try with centre Conrad Smith dashing over off Aaron Smith to score near the posts for a 32-22 lead after 51 minutes.
The Wallabies were pushed off the ball in a scrum and Steven Luatua took play close to the Australian line before they spread the ball out to right-winger Ben Smith for his second try as the rampant All Blacks swept to a 37-22 lead midway through the second half.
Cruden kicked his third penalty as New Zealand hit 40 points into the final quarter of the match.
But they weren't finished and Ben Smith became the first All Black to score a hat-trick of tries since Doug Howlett eight years ago with his third touchdown eight minutes from the end.
O'Connor scored Australia's consolation second try in the final minute.