Deans' Wallabies sink All Blacks 34-19 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans' Wallabies sink All Blacks 34-19

27/07/2008 10:31:24 AM Comments (0)

It doesn't get any better, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans admitted after Australia delivered the Kiwi coach his sweetest victory since taking the helm, downing the All Blacks 34-19 in a pulsating Bledisloe Cup Test at ANZ Stadium.

Deans continued his perfect record since taking the Wallabies reins last month with a fifth Test win and, in the process, proved a point to officials in his homeland who reappointed All Blacks coach Graham Henry to the job both men had applied for last year.

Asked if it gets any better, Deans said: "For the moment, no."

Clearly visible in the coaches box during the national anthems, Deans stood motionless - but perhaps not emotionless - during 'God Defend New Zealand' before smiling as he belted out 'Advance Australia Fair'.

He then watched as a courageous Wallabies put on their second-highest points tally ever against New Zealand and took a first step towards winning the Bledisloe for the first time since 2002 with their biggest win over the All Blacks since 1999.

But the former Crusaders boss would not be drawn on his emotions.

"It was great to be here. Great to be part of it," he said.

"It's distinct from Super rugby obviously but it's just a great occasion."

Australia scored four tries to three, while five-eighth Matt Giteau had a perfect night with the boot in front of 78,944 fans.

Their five-pointers came from backs Ryan Cross and Peter Hynes in the first half, and forwards Rocky Elsom and James Horwill in the second.

Giteau kicked all four conversions, a penalty goal and a timely 67th minute drop goal.

For the All Blacks, Mils Muliaina, Andrew Hore, Andy Ellis scored tries while Dan Carter, who was a constant menace to the Wallabies defence, booted two conversions.

Australia led 17-12 after both sides had scored two tries in a frenetic first half, but the All Blacks took the lead for the first - and only - time in the match five minutes after the break when halfback Ellis capitalised on a scintillating bust from Carter.

The flyhalf's conversion made it 19-17.

"That was a good mental test but they got up and got on the front foot and finished strongly," Deans said of the visitors' brief rally.

The Wallabies wouldn't roll over and Elsom strode over in the 55th minute, with Giteau's conversion making it 24-19, before Horwill ensured the win when he beat three All Blacks defenders to crash over in the 74th.

All Blacks reserve halfback Jimmy Cowan was injured in the lead-up to the try and match officials were soon conferring over the return of No.9 Andy Ellis.

Ellis was ruled to be a blood bin replacement and Cowan later returned.

Deans praised his side's attitude as their roll continued on from last week's win over world champions South Africa.

Asked what pleased him most, he said: "That belief."

"A lot was asked of them. We didn't have a lot of possession there for long periods and we had to defend for long periods.

"I suspect part of their thinking was they thought they could move us around and fatigue us that way ... at times it was tenuous but overall it worked for us."

Giteau said the players' confidence now stretched to a belief they could inflict another dose on the All Blacks in Auckland next Saturday.

"Yeah, for sure," he said.

"We would have had that belief at the start of the Tri-Nations and now that we've actually got the result I suppose it builds that belief."

Without inspirational captain Richie McCaw, the All Blacks have now lost two Tests in a row for the first time since 2004.

And again the two defeats came at the hands of Australia and South Africa.

But Deans warned the New Zealanders he knows so well will be smarting.

"They'll be hurting and that's where you'll see the response next week without a doubt," he said.

Deans believes he may be in for a frosty reception when he returns to New Zealand later this week.

He says it was a special moment for the Wallabies, but expects New Zealand to hit back hard in Auckland next Saturday.

Australia hasn't won in New Zealand since 2001 but Deans says next weekend represents a great opportunity to break the drought.

Australia leads what Deans rates the most hotly contested Tri-Nations tournament ever held.

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