Rugby Union: Mealamu Leads Way as All Blacks Turn on the Power; TRI-NATIONS RUGBY New Zealand 32 Australia 12

Article excerpt

Australia's scrum is likely to come under fire again this week after a disappointing defeat in the Tri-Nations Series opener against New Zealand in Christchurch.

Lote Tuqiri gave Australia an early lead but then the All Blacks pack showed their power with two tries from hooker Keven Mealamu helping them to a half-time lead of 14-7.

Scott Fava cut the deficit soon after Richie McCaw had looked to have given the All Blacks a winning advantage, but in truth the Wallabies' comeback hopes were long gone by the time Isaia Toeava sealed a comfortable win late on. Daniel Carter kicked three conversions and two penalties.

Wallabies coach John Connolly admitted there is still "a fair bit of work to do" with his forwards, although he felt the loss of Rocky Elsom to the sin-bin late in the first half had a big bearing on the outcome. The Wallabies No 8 was yellow-carded for repeatedly failing to roll away from the tackle and the All Blacks took full advantage.

"They were very physical but we knew what to expect," he added. "We knew they would be a threat to us. …