Rugby: Plaudits for All Blacks while Wallabies 'sulk'

All Blacks' Julian Savea (right) running after breaking the tackle of Wallabies' Nick Frisby (on ground) and Henry Speight during their match in Auckland on Oct 22, 2016.
All Blacks' Julian Savea (right) running after breaking the tackle of Wallabies' Nick Frisby (on ground) and Henry Speight during their match in Auckland on Oct 22, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Auckland (AFP) - The Australians were sour but elsewhere there was high praise for the All Blacks' world-record winning streak, with suggestions their unbeaten run is far from over.

The reigning world champions downed the Wallabies 37-10 in Auckland on Saturday to set a record for top-tier nations of 18 consecutive victories.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen felt his Australian opposite Michael Cheika hijacked celebrations with a withering outburst targeting the referee, the news media and claiming the New Zealanders did not respect his Wallabies.

But Cheika was in the minority for not congratulating the All Blacks on their historic achievement.

"The All Blacks march on, fallible for sure, but buoyed by the self-assurance greatness bestows," wrote Paul Rees in London's Observer. "The best, it is hard not to suspect, is yet to come."

London's Telegraph noted that less than a year after becoming the first team to win back-to-back World Cups "with a much-changed line-up, Steve Hansen's side bolstered their claim to being the greatest ever rugby team".

Among the flood of tributes for the All Blacks' unprecedented winning streak were tweets of congratulations from both the Irish Rugby Union and the British and Irish Lions.

The All Blacks need to win their next seven Tests, which include two against Ireland and three against the Lions, if they are to break the outright record of 24 Tests held by Cyprus who compete in the European Nations Cup division 2B.

Former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick expected the winning sequence to continue, tweeting: "I suspect there will be a few more added 2 the total by this outstanding team".

Former Wallaby Stirling Mortlock tweeted that the All Blacks were "#toogood" while South African cricket great Allan Donald added: "Simply have to applaud the way these men play there (sic) rugby."

Such was the All Blacks' superior finishing that they outscored the Wallabies six tries to one despite enjoying only 35 per cent of possession and 32 per cent of territory.

In Sydney's Daily Telegraph Jamie Pandaram referred to the "extraordinarily ugly aftermath" to the Test which saw trans-Tasman relations plunge.

"Australian coach Michael Cheika claimed the Kiwis don't respect them while rival Steve Hansen told him not to get 'sulky'," Pandaram wrote.