Wallabies win 20-15 against All Blacks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies win 20-15 against All Blacks

By Jim Morton 30/06/2007 10:23:42 PM Comments (0)

Dazed Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock has engineered a stunning 20-15 upset of the All Blacks for Australia's first Trans-Tasman Test win in three years.

Down and seemingly out when trailing 15-6 with New Zealand dominating, the Wallabies crossed for two tries in eight minutes at the MCG.

Adam Ashley-Cooper, a shock choice on the wing, powered over in the 64th minute before man-of-the-match Mortlock set up the winning try for replacement Scott Staniforth.

Centre Mortlock, knocked out in making a tackle earlier in the second half, burst past opposite number Luke McAlister and NZ skipper Richie McCaw on a 40m run before lobbing an over-the-top pass to Staniforth.

It was just the All Blacks' fifth loss in 42 Tests dating back to 2004 and breaks Australia's five-match Bledisloe Cup losing streak heading towards the World Cup in France.

"It's been a fair time coming for us," Mortlock said. "We've been close for a number of years but the crowd was outstanding for us. Got behind us in the second half and brought us home."

The result locks up the Tri-Nations series at the half-way point with all three teams locked on five points.

Staniforth's injection into the game came due to a knee injury to veteran halfback George Gregan which forced a backline reshuffle with Matt Giteau moving to halfback.

Giteau's spark, some creativity from playmaker Stephen Larkham and the sin-binning of All Blacks prop Carl Hayman saw the tide turn.

Up until Hayman's send-off for a ruck infringement, NZ had won everything.

If not for some poor handling - costing them at least two certain tries - and scrambling defence, the scoreline could have been embarrassing for Australia.

But, showing great mental toughness and self-belief, the Wallabies weathered the storm and pounced when given an opening.

Ashley-Cooper grabbed a Nathan Sharpe cut-out pass and stepped past Gear before shrugging off Richie McCaw and Chris Jack to bring the score back to 15-13.

The All Blacks showed the strain of the pressure with Dan Carter missing a penalty attempt and Aaron Mauger kicking the ball out on the full.

Mortlock's decisive break was his second of the half, earlier burning Mauger, while he was also a standout in defence.

The danger signs were flashing after just four minutes.

Julian Huxley started the game by kicking out on the full. NZ drove through the Australian scrum. The visitors won a ruck penalty and they kept the pressure up until the Wallabies cracked with prop Tony Woodcock burrowing under Matt Giteau to score his first Test try.

The woes continued for the rattled Wallabies with their first two kicks charged down and wrong options in attack.

Mortlock missed his first penalty attempt but got an easier kick soon after for a three-pointer in the 13th minute.

A foolish George Smith infringement saw Carter hit back for a 10-3 lead a minute later.

Australia's biggest question mark, the scrum, in a sign of things to come, was punished by referee Martin Jonker twice in a row and the All Blacks took the ball the length of the field.

It finished with Rico Gear, who strolled over after Luke McAlsiter kicked out of a Gregan tackle.

The score, amazingly, for all of the All Blacks dominance and chances, stayed at 15-6 until the 64th minute.

Up until then, when Australia turned the ball over, the All Blacks counterattacked with speed and guile.

When the All Blacks lost possession, the Wallabies were slow and stagnant.

But persistence won the day.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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