AUCKLAND - New Zealand's 39-10 hammering of Australia in the Tri-Nations on Saturday was down to a tactical overhaul that followed two successive defeats, All Blacks coach Graham Henry said.
New Zealand dominated the match and kept their hopes of defending their Tri-Nations title alive, winning the 19th game in a row at Eden Park.
Australia have not won there since 1986.
"We changed the game plan around and the guys executed that exceptionally well," Henry told a news conference.
The turnaround sets up an intriguing third match between the two in Brisbane on September 13.
"The next contest is going to be massive, because both teams will have an equal amount of edge," Henry added.
Captain Richie McCaw paid tribute to the work of the tight forwards in dominating their Australian opposites.
"The front five especially had a hell of a game. They [Australia] never got any front-foot ball and some of the tackles that went in forced turnovers," McCaw said.
"We camped down their end of the field for periods and got the points we were after."
The lineout, often a source of headaches for New Zealand, functioned perfectly, securing almost all their own ball as well eight throw-ins from Australia.
In contrast the Wallabies saw little of the ball and spent too much of the match in their own half, with New Zealand dominating both the scrums and lineouts.
"The All Blacks built pressure and didn't allow us to build any pressure," Australia coach Robbie Deans said.
"It's [the lineout performance] not one we'll reflect on with a lot of pride, and that reflected the way the game went."
Australian captain Stirling Mortlock insisted the Wallabies had made the effort but things did not go their way.
"The harder we tried the more we seemed to dig ourselves into a hole," he said. "We'll lick our wounds, we'll get a break now for a week and regroup."
New Zealand edged to the top of the Tri-Nations table, after securing a bonus point for scoring four tries, with Australia second and South Africa third. - Reuters