All Blacks regain Bledisloe Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All Blacks regain Bledisloe Cup

By Daniel Gilhooly 16/08/2003 07:33:17 PM Comments (0)

The All Blacks celebrated their 100 years of test match rugby in the best possible style by beating the Wallabies 21-17 to regain the Bledisloe Cup.

After the final whistle, captain Reuben Thorne raised the cup above his head to a massive roar of 45,000 people at Eden Park, signifying the relief and delight at ending Australia's six-year reign as holders.

The All Blacks had nothing like the dominance of last month's 50-21 romp in Sydney but still deserved to win, playing the more enterprising style and scoring two tries to one.

Wallabies flanker George Smith crossed for a try to narrow the scores with five minutes remaining, ensuring a dramatic final stanza but the All Blacks held on grimly to maintain their unbeaten record in the Tri-Nations series, which they had wrapped up last week.

Otherwise the visitors relied on the boot of second five-eighth Elton Flatley, whose 12 points came via four penalties from as many attempts.

Both of New Zealand's tries went to right winger Doug Howlett in the first half while first five-eighth Carlos Spencer contributed the remaining 11 points with his boot.

The willingness of both sides to keep the ball in hand defied the greasy, showery conditions, with the All Blacks particularly adept at counter-attacking from deep while the Wallabies were at their most effective when stringing together quick phases of play.

It was a brave effort from the visitors, desperate to keep the Bledisloe Cup and reverse the embarrassment felt in Sydney, and they threatened to pull off another of the late victories that have marked their reign.

Although outplayed for much of the match, they stayed within sight of the All Blacks throughout, trailing just 9-15 at halftime.

Saturday night's match came 100 years and a day after the All Blacks' first test, also against Australia. That match at the Sydney Cricket Ground was honoured this week by a gathering in Auckland of great rugby figures from both nations.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news