New Zealand's All Blacks started their Rugby Championship campaign with a convincing 19-27 victory over Australia's Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.
The result illustrates why the All Blacks are ranked as the number one team in World Rugby and also why they are the Rugby World Champions.
While the All Blacks were clearly the better team on the day the Wallabies were their own worst enemy as they made some silly mistakes with the ball and both teams can be expected to look a little less rusty next week.
The Wallabies scored the first points of the match as Berrick Barnes kicked a penalty in the second minute but Dan Carter levelled the scores in the 11th minute.
A minute later man of match Israel Dagg slipped through a poor tackle by Kurtley Beale to score the first try of the match in the corner.
Once the All Blacks went ahead on the scoreboard they remained in control of the match and the final scoreline fails to illustrate the their dominance in the match.
It was the first meeting between the trans-Tasman rivals since the All Blacks' 20-6 victory in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
The All Blacks rarely looked tested against a nervous-looking Australia as Israel Dagg and Corey Jane crossed for first half tries, with Dan Carter adding 17 points for the world champions in front of 76,877 people at Sydney's Olympic stadium.
The All Blacks have now won nine of the past 11 Tests against Australia, including victory in the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup, en route to its second world championship crown last November.
Nathan Sharpe scored Australia's lone try, with flyhalf Berrick Barnes kicking 14 points.
New Zealand host Australia in Auckland next Saturday, with another victory enough to retain the Bledisloe Cup for the tenth consecutive year and take a strong position in the inaugural four-nation Rugby Championship.
Rarely have the victories been as comfortable as this for the All Blacks, especially in hostile terrain, but throughout the match the Wallabies looked in awe of the caliber of the world champions and rarely caused the visitors any problems.
A penalty goal by Wallabies flyhalf Barnes in the 2nd minute opened the scoring after referee Alain Rolland penalized New Zealand at the match's first scrum.
All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter tied the scores at 3-all with a penalty goal shortly before the world champions took the lead through Israel Dagg's try in the 14th minute.
From a midfield scrum, Carter ran across the Wallabies line and found enough space to release Dagg down the sideline and the fullback had enough strength to easily shrug off a poor tackle attempt by Australia's Kurtley Beale.
Carter converted the try for a deserved 10-3 lead.
Australia, who have lost their last three tests against New Zealand in Sydney, appeared rattled and conceded another soft penalty for a ruck infringement.
Carter made no mistake with the penalty attempt for a 13-3 lead on 20 minutes.
The Wallabies first half was characterized by several errors, with Scott Higginbotham guilty of spurning a good scoring chance, but it was Beale's simple drop off a Carter kick which proved the most expensive.
From the subsequent scrum the All Blacks again showed their guile and found enough space for winger Corey Jane to dive over in the corner for an 18-3 lead.
The hosts struggled for any forward momentum in a disjointed first half before evergreen lock Nathan Sharpe kept Australia in the contest when he barged over from short range off Will Genia's pass.
Barnes converted to leave the Wallabies trailing by eight at the break.
The Wallabies approach was more positive in the second half and a late hit on captain David Pocock in the 44th minute gave Barnes a simple penalty attempt to reduce the arrears to five.
New Zealand quickly reasserted its control through another Carter penalty to lead 21-13 after 48 minutes, before Barnes again narrowed the scores to 21-16 with another penalty.
Dagg had an opportunity to seal the victory for the All Blacks in the 50th minute but his pass failed to find the unmarked Ma'a Nonu out wide, after the fullback had again broken through the Wallabies defensive line.
Another Carter penalty goal in the 62nd extended the lead to eight points and only a brilliant cover tackle by Adam Ashley Cooper prevented Hosea Gear from scoring in the corner and ending the Wallabies resistance.
Barnes gave Australia a late opportunity to steal victory with another penalty goal, leaving the hosts five points behind with four minutes to play.
However it was the All Blacks who had the last say, with Carter adding another penalty goal to deny Australia a bonus point for a loss less than seven points.
Final Score Australia 19 (10) New Zealand 27 (18).
Tries - N. Sharpe
Pen - B. Barnes 4
Con - B. Barnes
Tries - I. Dagg, C. Jane
Pen - D. Carter 5
Con - D. Carter
Referee: A. Rolland (IRFU)
Assistant Ref 1: N. Owens (WRU)
Assistant Ref 2: L.Van Der Merwe (SARU)
TMO: M. Goddard (ARU)
15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Rob Horne, 12. Anthony Faingaa, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Berrick Barnes, 9. Will Genia, 8. Scott Higginbotham, 7. David Pocock (c), 6. Dave Dennis, 5. Nathan Sharpe, 4. Sitaleki Timani, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Tatafu Polota Nau, 1. Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16. Stephen Moore, 17. James Slipper, 18. Rob Simmons, 19. Radike Samo, 20. Michael Hooper, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Drew Mitchell.
1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Keven Mealamu, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Richie McCaw - captain, 8. Kieran Read, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Daniel Carter, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Ma'a Nonu, 14. Cory Jane, 15. Israel Dagg.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Hore, 17. Ben Franks, 18. Brodie Retallick, 19. Victor Vito, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Aaron Cruden, 22. Ben Smith.