World Champions New Zealand began the Four Nations tournament in impressive fashion with a 47-29 win over Australia.
Winger Ben Smith scored a hat-trick as the All Blacks ruined Ewen McKenzie’s first match as Wallabies coach.
They scored three tries either side of half time at the Olympic Stadium with fly half Aaron Cruden, captain Richie McCaw – returning after a sabbatical – and center Conrad Smith supplementing Ben Smith’s triple score.
The sides meet again in the second match next Saturday in Wellington.
Australia must win that match and the third Test in Dunedin in October to win back the Bledisloe Cup.
After the first matches of the Four Nations, New Zealand are second in the standings behind South Africa, who began their campaign with a thumping 73-13 victory over Argentina.
They scored nine tries in an easier-than-expected start to the tournament.
South Africa bettered the competition record for the biggest winning margin and also their own 16-year-old mark for the most points scored in a match.