All Blacks retain Bledisloe in thriller - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All Blacks retain Bledisloe in thriller

23/08/2009 06:32:46 AM Comments (0)

The Bledisloe Cup is gone again for the Wallabies after All Blacks five-eighth Dan Carter kicked a 79th minute penalty goal to give his side a heartstopping 19-18 Tri Nations Test victory.

Carter, making his return to international rugby after six months out with a snapped Achilles tendon, lined up the difficult kick after Australia had run into trouble near their own line, and kicked home to grab the one-point advantage in a thrilling match.

Australia launched a late attacking raid at ANZ Stadium in a bid to snatch a win after leading for most of the match.

But the Wallabies were unable to keep possession when it counted, signalling the beginning of the celebrations for the New Zealanders.

Australia now head into a seventh year without the Bledisloe Cup, which they last held in 2002, and the defeat also virtually means the end of their Tri Nations chances.

Bledisloe Cup holders New Zealand have a 2-0 lead in the four-match series against Australia and will retain the trophy.

But a spirited performance on Saturday night may have saved the scalps of several Wallabies players who were reportedly under pressure heading into the game.

The All Blacks scored the only try of the match, through Ma'a Nonu in the 64th minute, but predictions of a boring kick-fest were wide of the mark as the crowd of 80,228 were kept enthralled.

After a first half in which Australia kicked four penalty goals to one despite not dominating territory, to lead 12-3 at the break, the Wallabies needed to hang on for dear live against a second half onslaught from the Kiwis.

The All Blacks were denied two tries in less than two minutes by referee Jonathan Kaplan - a forward pass from Sitiveni Sivivatu denied Carter in the 52nd minute while a controversial obstruction ruling when Jimmy Cowan was over the line in the 53rd also resulted in a no-try.

But a massive weight of possession in the second half had to give and it did in the 64th when, after a Giteau clearance had been charged down, Nonu handled twice in a sublime movement to score.

Carter's conversion gave the All Blacks their first lead since the fourth minute at 16-15.

That was shortlived, however, as Australia finally raided NZ territory and came away with another Giteau penalty goal and an 18-16 lead.

"We were just starved of possession in that second half," Wallabies captain George Smith said.

"Whenever we got the chance, we kicked the ball away.

"We got ourselves in good position down here (in the final minute) but we didn't take our opportunity.

"But there were some positive aspects. The boys tried hard out there ..."

It was physical, as the long list of walking wounded indicated. Centre Berrick Barnes (neck) failed to return for the second half, James O'Connor limped off with a cork in the 46th, Stephen Moore's head was left bloodied after a first-half head clash and All Blacks centre Luke McAlister appeared to be knocked senseless twice.

Discipline was again an issue for Australia, with No.8 Richard Brown sinbinned for his second straight Test, in the 43rd minute for a lifting tackle on All Blacks prop Owen Franks and prop Al Baxter hooked in the first half after a scrum penalty.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 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