Dunedin - The All Blacks stayed on course to complete an unbeaten season when
they toppled Australia 41-33 in a high-scoring seven-try spectacle in
Dunedin on Saturday.
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The reigning world champions were unruffled
by the injury enforced late withdrawals of captain Richie McCaw and wing
Cory Jane as they outscored the Wallabies four tries to three.
the game was closer than the scoreline suggested with the All Blacks
leading 30-19 at half-time and the Wallabies taking the second half
The All Blacks wanted to repeat the high level of their
performance two weeks ago when they beat the Springboks in Johannesburg
to claim the Rugby Championship but they made too many mistakes.
Australians started the game buoyed by their recent thrashing of
Argentina and enjoyed a possession and territory advantage over the All
Blacks in the first half.
But their confidence was eroded by the apparent ease with which the All Blacks turned half chances into scoring opportunities.
this stage late season the All Blacks underestimated the Wallabies and
were held to an 18-18 draw, and they were determined that would not
Although unable to dominate possession, their counter-attacking skills punished the Wallabies for numerous handling errors.
was a rocky start for the All Blacks when Sam Cane, deputising for the
injured McCaw, spilled the kick off back into Wallaby hands.
Folau, a star of the Wallabies backline, took the Australians deep into
All Blacks territory where Quade Cooper was gifted a simple penalty.
that was to be the only time the Wallabies were ahead on the scoreboard
for although they dominated possession in the first half they found the
black defensive wall near impossible to penetrate.
As the All
Blacks exploited the Wallabies defensive frailties left wing Julian
Savea opened their account by scoring off an Israel Dagg pass when the
speedsters found hooker Stephen Moore as the last line of defence.
pin-point cross kick from Aaron Cruden into Savea's arms had the
Wallabies in disarray and led to the All Blacks second try by Cane
before Cruden scored the third when constant running by the All Blacks
stretched the Wallabies to breaking point.
scored for the Wallabies just on half-time and with Quade Cooper landing
the conversion, three penalties and a drop goal to three conversions
and two penalties by Cruden, the All Blacks led 30-19 at the break.
Cruden opened a rapid scoring spree immediately after the resumption when he extended the lead to 33-19 with his fourth penalty.
drew an immediate response from the Wallabies with a try to Matt Toomua
from a 70-metre break after Tevita Kuridrani intercepted a Savea pass,
to which the All Blacks replied with a Kieran Read try following a
Charlie Faumuina turnover.
In the closing minutes Kuridrani scored the Wallabies third try.
achieve their target of an unbeaten season, the All Blacks need to beat
Japan, France, England and Ireland on their November tour.
Tries: Julian Savea, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Kieran Read. Conversions: Aaron Cruden (3). Penalties: Cruden (4).
Tries: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani. Conversions: Quade Cooper (2). Penalties: Quade Cooper (4). Drop goal: Cooper.
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Steven Luatua,, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Tom Taylor.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Dave Dennis, 21 Nic White, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Bernard Foley.