Brisbane - The Wallabies downed the All Blacks 25-20 to claim their first Tri-Nations crown in 10 years at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
gave their hopes of a third Rugby World Cup success in New Zealand next month
a major boost, with a spirited three tries to two victory after leading
20-3 at half-time.
The Wallabies have not lifted the southern hemisphere crown since John Eales's team won in 2001.
Australians showed great resolve in a pulsating second half as the
world number one ranked All Blacks stormed back to draw level with 20
But the Wallabies, led by lock James Horwill for the
first time, fought back and claimed victory with a 61st-minute try by
fullback Kurtley Beale.
The Wallabies lost their chance to win
this year's Bledisloe Cup when holders New Zealand comprehensively beat
them 30-14 in Auckland three weeks ago.
But it was Australia's
second win over the All Blacks in their last three meetings after they
defeated Graham Henry's team 26-24 in Hong Kong last October.
It was the Wallabies' first victory over the All Blacks in Brisbane for 19 years.
Wallabies began furiously, putting the All Blacks under pressure with a
swarming defence, and had a couple of early chances before Quade Cooper
kicked a third-minute penalty.
Right-wing Adam Ashley-Cooper was over the New Zealand try-line but was hauled back by Piri Weepu and Mils Muliaina.
Wallabies' ferocity was taking its toll on the All Blacks, with number
eight Kieran Read replaced with a left ankle injury while skipper Richie
McCaw played on after treatment to his lower back.
Australians were rewarded for their territorial domination when
scrumhalf Will Genia darted through an opening to score the opening try
in the 13th minute.
Centre Anthony Fainga'a pulled off a
try-saving tackle on Muliaina before Dan Carter kicked the All Blacks'
first points with a 24th-minute penalty.
Ma'a Nonu was penalised
for making a tackle without the ball giving Cooper an easy penalty kick
and a minute later number eight Radike Samo, the oldest Wallaby player
at 35, raced 60m to score an astonishing try after David Pocock stole
the ball in his half.
Samo's try was converted by Cooper giving the Wallabies a 20-3 lead after 34 minutes.
Zealand's problems were compounded further when flank Adam Thomson
came off just before half-time with an apparent shoulder injury for Ali
Carter kicked his second penalty seven minutes after the
resumption as the All Blacks employed more disciplined ball retention
and phases to wear down the Wallabies.
The All Blacks controlled
the ball through 27 phases before Keven Mealamu and Carter combined to
send centre Conrad Smith racing over for their first try in the 52nd
minute, which Carter converted.
New Zealand drew level on 59 minutes when Nonu was involved twice before scoring off Smith's pass.
the Wallabies hit back minutes later when Genia dummied into the clear
and combined with winger Digby Ioane for Beale to score in the left
corner to retrieve the lead 25-20.
Cooper had the chance to put the Wallabies eight points clear but missed a penalty attempt with eight minutes left.
The Wallabies wound down the clock and held on for a tremendous victory.
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale,
14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby
Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 David Pocock, 6
Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Dan Vickerman, 3 Ben
Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu
Substitutes: 16 Saia
Fainga'a, 17 Salesi Ma'afu, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Scott
Higginbotham, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 TBC
New Zealand: 15
Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Zac
Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw
(c), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn 3 Owen Franks, 2
Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Isaia Toeava