About the kindest thing that can be said about last night's Bledisloe Cup/Rugby Championship match in Sydney was that it ended. And when it did, the All Blacks were eight points to the good.
The match began with a Berrick Barnes penalty goal, and ended with a Dan Carter penalty goal. They book-ended a pedantic refereeing performance from Alain Rolland of Ireland that marred what could have been a terrific match. Quite why the IRB insists on bringing referees in from their off-season in the Northern Hemisphere is one of life's mysteries, but Rolland's performance robbed the match of any shape.
To be fair, both teams made far too many mistakes, and Robbie Deans' tenure as Australian coach will again be under the microscope. The Wallabies played dumb rugby in the first half especially.
The All Blacks weren't a lot better. In horse racing parlance, they will be better for the run when they take on Australia again at Eden Park next weekend, and four championship points away from home, especially whilst denying the home team a bonus point is not to be sneezed at.