Dunedin - Beauden Barrett was New Zealand's hero with a converted try less than two minutes from full-time as the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 35-29 in a cliff-hanger Test in Dunedin in Saturday.
As it happened: All Blacks v Wallabies
In the frantic closing
minutes the lead changed three times before Barrett sealed the deal and
broke the hearts of an Australian side that had been widely written off
before the game.
There were five tries apiece with the telling
difference being Barrett successfully converting all five for the All
Blacks while Bernard Foley landed only two for Australia.
much as Barrett secured the win, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen singled
out Kieran Read for the way he won the restart after Kurtley Beale had
put the Wallabies in front 29-28.
"We were fortunate to come out on the right side thanks to a lot of composure," he said.
be 17 points down and come back you've got to have good composure and
to lose the lead again in the 74th minute a lot of sides would have
chucked it in.
"But they didn't and they got the rewards for it.
(Read) really stood up in the last five minutes, took the kick off, made
the break and that's what you expect from your leader."
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika believed poor decision making by the Wallabies at the death cost them the game.
"The gallant loser thing is not on. We should have won that game. We know it," he said.
were things during the game that could have changed the course of it
and then the last bit, those three minutes, we should have got hold of
that ball and kept it at all costs."
The victory meant the All
Blacks claimed the Bledisloe Cup, contested between the two sides, for a
15th consecutive year and have a perfect 2-0 start to the Rugby
Championship with home and away games against South Africa and Argentina
still to come.
humiliated 54-34 in the first Test a week ago, made a flying start in
Dunedin, scoring after just 26 seconds and they had three tries and an
unanswered 17 points on the board after 16 minutes.
Working off a
pack that had the Wallabies back-pedalling at scrum time, the All
Blacks were intent on playing a high-paced, high-risk game but faced
with a rushed defence it came with a high error count, including 10
turnovers in the first half.
But once they settled down and made the passes stick they began to make inroads.
to honour the memory of national icon Colin Meads, who died last
Sunday, the All Blacks had closed the gap to 17-14 at half-time but it
took 20 minutes of the second half before they hit the front for the
It was a bizarre start to
the Test with the kick-off delayed 10 minutes because of problems
re-adjusting the lights after they were dimmed during a pre-match
tribute to Meads.
When play did get under way the All Blacks were
immediately on attack and running at the Wallabies line with a two-man
overlap when Israel Folau claimed a vital intercept and raced 80 metres
Ten minutes later Michael Hooper broke from a lineout
against a non-existent defence for the second try and the third came
when Will Genia salvaged the ball from a scrum heading backwards and
sent Foley over.
It was not until the end of the first quarter
before the All Blacks registered their first points to Rieko Ioane and
Aaron Smith narrowed the gap with their second try from another dominant
scrum on half-time.
It took 20 minutes of the second half before
the New Zealanders hit the lead for the first time when they turned
down a close-range shot at goal in favour of a scrum where Aaron Smith
ran blind and put Barrett over.
Genia responded for the Wallabies
to lead 22-21 before Ben Smith - in his last game before taking a
break for the rest of the year - restored the lead for the All Blacks
with 10 minutes remaining.
In the countdown to the final whistle,
Beale scored to put Australia back in front before Barrett scored the
match winner for the All Blacks.
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick; 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Curtis Rona