New Zealand wins 23-20. Australia: All Blacks rally for thrilling victory
following trailing 17-3 at halftime, the hosts won with a 79th-minute penalty from Richie Mo’unga following two second-half tries.
Last week, New Zealand defeated the Wallabies 38-17 in Melbourne to win their third Rugby Championship in a row.
Eddie Jones, the former England head coach, is yet to win a game in command of Australia.
After the Wallabies dominated early at Forsyth Barr Stadium, the All Blacks’ 22-year home winning record against the Wallabies was threatened.
New Zealand stormed back into the game with to tries from debutants Shaun Stevenson and Samipeni Finau, before Mo’unga completed a 2-0 Bledisloe Cup series triumph with a well-taken punt from a tight angle.
It was a heartbreaking end for Australia, who had been defeated 38-7 by the All Blacks a week earlier in Melbourne.
“Yeah, I’m absolutely gutted,” Australia skipper Tate McDermott said. “Obviously, we’re not happy with it, but it’s a huge improvement from where we were last week to where we are now.” A significant improvement.”
New Zealand captain Sam Cane said the All Blacks had been pushed to their breaking point.
“That was a proper Test match,” he commented. “To be fair, they were firing all the shots in the first half, and we were just hanging in there.” They took it out on us big time.”
The visitors jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, scoring two tries in the first seven minutes.
Marika Koroibete crossed in the third minute thanks to quick hands, and Tom Hooper barged across in the same left corner after flattening Damian McKenzie in a powerful dash.
Both teams suffered early losses, with Queensland Reds hooker Matt Faessler earning his Test debut for Australia after Dave Porecki was forced out with a head injury.
In the 26th minute, New Zealand lost Brodie Retallick to an apparent knee injury, but their veteran guard stepped up, with Sam Whitelock and Ardie Savea combining to deny a try as stand-in captain McDermott made a dart for the right corner.
Four minutes after the restart, Stevenson scored in the right corner for the hosts.
A Mo’unga penalty cut the All Blacks’ deficit to four points before Finau’s score put them ahead.
Quade Cooper of Australia hit a long-range shot to tie the game at 20-20.
With three minutes remaining, Cooper knocked the ball on, giving New Zealand the scrum.
They dominated the set-piece to earn penalty advantage, giving Mo’unga the opportunity for his game-winning kick.
New Zealand has now won all four Tests this season, including victories against Argentina, South Africa, and Australia (twice).
The Wallabies, who hired ex-England head coach Jones in January, have lost all four games against the same opponents, but they will take encouragement from their performance on Saturday.
The Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 8th, when France takes on New Zealand.
New Zealand’s starting lineup is as follows: Jordan, Stevenson, Ennor, Lienert-Brown, Fainga’anuku, McKenzie, Christie, Savea, Cane (capt), Finau, Whitelock, Retallick, Laulala, Taukei’aho, Williams.
Coles, Tuungafasi, Newell, Vaa’i, Jacobson, Smith, Mo’unga, and McLeod are the replacements.
Australia: Kellaway, Petaia, Kerevi, Koroibete, Gordon, McDermott (captain), Valetini, Hooper, McReight, Arnold, Frost, Fa’amausili, Porecki, Bell.