New Zealand captain Kieran Read thought his team was “outstanding” as they eased past Australia 42-8 in their Rugby Championship clash in Sydney.
The Wallabies, who are defending champions of this tournament, were comprehensively defeated by a rampant All Blacks, who scored six tries.
Ryan Crotty, Beauden Barrett, Jerome Kaino, Waisake Naholo, Dane Coles and Julian Savea crossed, with the teams meeting again next week.
Read was clearly delighted with his charges’ performance when speaking after the fixture, but admitted it wasn’t as easy as the score makes out.
“It was tough out there but I think the performance from our guys was outstanding,” he told Fox Sports after the tournament’s opening match.
“We came here and had to fight really hard and the boys certainly did so we’ve got to be pretty happy and have a smile on our face after that.”
New Zealand led 32-3 at the break which meant they only won the second-half 10-5, with Read saying they would have liked to have done more.
“Our execution let us down a bit in that second-half and we would have liked to have put on a couple more tries but the effort was there and I think that’s what we wanted,” he said following the bonus-point win.
“An Australian team is certainly not going to give up and they showed that right to the end so we’ll look at the tape to see things we can improve on for next week.”
He added: “Our forwards really wanted to do well. We know how talented our backs are if we can get turnover ball and we managed to do that a bit off the line-out and the guys up front did a great job.
“We’ll now look forward to next week and getting home to our fans in Wellington.”