New Zealand 30 - 14 Australia: Sivivatu sidelined with eye injury as All Blacks march on
Sivivatu scored the All Blacks' third try in the Tri-Nations encounter at Eden Park, which helped them retain the Bledisloe Cup and set down a marker for the World Cup, which starts on 9 September in New Zealand. All Blacks coach Graham Henry confirmed that the injury would probably rule Sivivatu out of the Test in Port Elizabeth on 20 August.
"He probably will miss South Africa but probably will be right for Brisbane (against Australia on 27 August]," said Henry yesterday.
He added that several players named in the Tri-Nations squad who were coming back from injury, like fullback Israel Dagg, utility back Isaia Toeava, centre Richard Kahui and prop Tony Woodcock, were likely to travel to South Africa.
Tri-Nations rules allow for 26 players to travel, but Henry said he would look to take just 24, resting several key players and allow those coming back from injury to play at a Test match level before the World Cup squad was named.
While Henry was still uncertain of his final squad make-up to travel to South Africa and then Australia for their final two matches in the Tri-Nations, he was surely feeling comfortable in the manner in which the team are building toward the World Cup.
Previous World Cups have shown the team that defends best and takes their scoring opportunities tend to win the Webb Ellis Trophy and the All Blacks' clinical demolition of Australia at Eden Park on Saturday showed evidence of both.
The New Zealand side were brutal in defence, with blindside flanker Jerome Kaino seemingly intent on making it his personal mission to knock Wallabies ball-runners into next week.
Fly-half Dan Carter and centre Conrad Smith also typified the trust the team have in their defensive screen in drifting across field, allowing those outside the confidence to stay on players further out.
The All Blacks also seized their opportunities in Australian territory, with two of their tries coming from initial line breaks and interplay before they resorted to controlled possession.
Scorers: New Zealand: Tries: Nonu, Mealamu, Sivivatu. Cons: Carter 3. Pens: Carter 2. Drop Goals: Carter. Australia: Tries: Ioane, Elsom. Cons: Cooper 2.