All Blacks 54 Wallabies 34
By Gregor Paul in Sydney
Whatever was happening off the field in Sydney, it quite obviously didn't distract the All Blacks from the job in hand.
Aware that after a poor series against the British & Irish Lions, an eruption back into life of an old sex scandal and the claims of a new one, they were under pressure to perform.
They did just that. Not for long enough, but certainly in the first 45 they obliterated Australia with some of the most devastating attacking rugby seen in the last decade.
Perhaps fittingly, one of the craziest weeks in this long and compelling rivalry, ended with one of the craziest matches.
There have been epic Bledisloe Cup battles, wild happenings and unforgettable moments but this was something different again.
There had never been a test quite as regimented, quite as demarcated with the All Blacks scoring seven unanswered tries then the Wallabies hitting back with four on the trot.
It was ridiculous. Fun, ridiculous, entertaining but a touch surreal with it as never had one team so comprehensively destroyed another in such short order.
The All Blacks scored 54 points in 44 minutes and that is unheard of at this level.
There was so much pace, accuracy and venom in the All Blacks' attack that the Wallabies had little idea what had hit them and even less idea on how to do anything effective to stop it.
Some of their one-on-one tackling was a touch weak, but then there was this overwhelming feeling that it wasn't really part of the story.
Even if the Wallabies had been spot on in that regard, it would only have delayed the inevitable because the All Blacks were going to find the space and they were going to score almost every time they had the ball.
They were in that sort of mood, refusing to kick out of defence. Refusing to kick virtually any ball at all and their willingness to run and pass stretched the Wallabies all over the park and broke them with alarming regularity.
The big take out of the Lions series was the need to be more attack-minded and clinical - two boxed the All Blacks can be certain they can be ticked in that opening blitz.
It felt at times like Brodie Retallick may have cloned himself such was his work rate and availability to smash up the middle. Liam Squire positioned himself well to maximise his pace and strength when carrying the ball and Ryan Crotty picked the most acute angles to hit the ball flat and glide through the Wallabies for fun.
But the list could go on. It wasn't a game defined by individuals, but by the cohesive nature of the attack and the ability of everyone to contribute.
It also came to be defined by the sudden nature in which the All Blacks switched off and let the Wallabies come back at them.
They will be grumpy, rightly so, at the way they drifted out of the game in the final half hour. The control deserted them once they hit 50 points.
Their attacking became too lose, almost wild at times and while huge credit has to go to Australia for the way they clawed themselves away from humiliation, the All Blacks' will feel their defending was equally erratic in the last half hour.
They would have loved to have pushed on in the final quarter and left the Wallabies broken ahead of the Dunedin rematch.
Instead, it was job half done although that half was quite magnificent.
Australia 34 (K. Rona, T. Kuridrani, K. Beale, I. Folau tries; B. Foley 4 cons, 2 pens)
New Zealand 54 (L. Squire, R. Ioane (2), R. Crotty (2), S. Williams, D. McKenzie, B. Smith tries; B. Barrett 7 cons)