All Blacks just too good for Australia again

The All Blacks beat Australia 20-10 on Saturday night to record their ninth straight win over the Wallabies and virtually sew up this year's Tri-Nations series with two games still to play.

The match at Christchurch's AMI Stadium was more closely contested than last week's 48-29 win to the All Blacks in Melbourne, with the second half scoreless except for a penalty.

Mils Muliaina and Conrad Smith scored New Zealand's tries and Kurtley Beale scored Australia's. Dan Carter and Matt Giteau kicked the other points. The half-time score was 17-10.

After Saturday's result, the All Blacks need just a point from their two remaining matches to regain the Tri-Nations trophy.

The win also keeps the Bledisloe Cup on New Zealand's side of the Tasman.

Coach Graham Henry said it was important for the team to retain the Bledisloe for an eighth straight year.

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw hailed his side's defensive effort as "right up there" with the best he'd been involved in with the All Blacks.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans also praised the New Zealanders' defence. Deans says while side played better than in last weekend's 7-try defeat in Melbourne, the opposition was too wily.

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