Aussies stop NZ's winning run
Mike Harris (Gallo Images)
Brisbane - Dan Carter missed a drop goal
attempt after the final siren as the Wallabies ended the All Blacks'
winning run with a fighting 18-18 try-less draw in the final Bledisloe
Cup Test in Brisbane on Saturday.
The World Cup champions were
chasing their 17th consecutive victory but were denied by a spare-parts
Wallaby side, missing many of their leading stars through injury.
Australians looked on target to pull off a boilover with a 15-6 lead
after 51 minutes, but the All Blacks fought back to 18-15 with nine
But fullback Mike Harris levelled the scores minutes later to set up a gripping finale where both sides could taste victory.
Richie McCaw elected to take a scrum from a penalty deep in New Zealand
territory and go after the win and after driving up-field and setting
up for a chance at the winning drop goal, Carter's attempt sailed just
wide of the right post to leave the scores deadlocked.
were bidding to join the 1969 All Blacks and 1998 South African
Springboks with 17 successive victories but were once again foiled by
the Wallabies, who ended New Zealand's unbeaten 15-match run in a 26-24
win in Hong Kong in 2010.
Harris was on great form in the first
half, kicking all his four penalty goal attempts to give the
under-strength Wallabies a 12-6 half-time advantage.
began well when they charged down a clearing kick in the opening
seconds only for the ball to elude Adam Ashley-Cooper over the dead-ball
Carter kicked the All Blacks to a 6-3 lead before New
Zealand came the closest to scoring in the first half through winger
Israel Dagg's kick ahead was just forced dead by Harris with Gear in hot pursuit midway through the half.
Wallabies' blindside flanker Scott Higginbotham could be in hot water
after his scuffle with All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.
appeared to knee McCaw in the head to trigger the skirmish before
appearing to head-butt the All Blacks skipper on the ground. Both
players were cautioned by referee Craig Joubert.
Joubert made good
on his warning of 'next one goes' when he gave All Blacks prop Tony
Woodcock a yellow card for repeated ruck infringements on the half-time
Harris kicked his fourth penalty to give the Wallabies a six-point buffer at the turnaround.
Kurtley Beale further lifted the Wallabies' confidence with a prodigious penalty from just inside his own half for a 15-6 lead.
Carter kicked his third penalty and the Wallabies lost openside flanker
Michael Hooper to the sin bin after taking out All Blacks scrum-half
Aaron Smith after he had kicked ahead.
Carter pulled New Zealand to within three points with the resulting penalty in the 56th minute.
lost a lineout on their throw giving the All Blacks possession inside
their quarter and they mounted successive mauls before they received a
penalty for Carter to level the scores at 15-15 with 13 minutes left.
Zealand got the big breakthrough when Adam Ashley-Cooper spilled Aaron
Cruden's high kick and Nick Phibbs was in an off-side position in
picking up the ball for an All Blacks penalty.
Carter kicked his sixth penalty nine minutes from time to edge New Zealand in front and in sight of victory.
But Harris levelled with his fifth penalty with five minutes left in what proved to be the final score.