Paul Cully: Did the Wallabies just drop the Bledisloe Cup?
- Author: Stacy Allen Aug 28, 2017,
Aug 28, 2017, 0:51
The final quarter descended into a see-saw battle with Genia finishing a counterattack that he had sparked before Ben Smith appeared to have given New Zealand the lead for good when he crossed in the 71st minute.
The match started late after the Wallabies complained their buildup had been affected by a floodlight failure.
"Like I've said before, only we can turn that around on the field.
We came here to win, we had confidence we were going to win and we didn't get that".
"We were trying to get ourselves back into the game and having a few goes at the line and that really helped".
In the countdown to the final whistle, Kurtley Beale scored to put Australia back in front before Barrett scored the match victor for the All Blacks.
Had they forced the series into a decider in Brisbane they would have fancied their chances on the evidence of the last 110 minutes of Bledisloe rugby.
"There's a number of guys in here who have tasted what it's like to win". The Wallabies scored three tries but every one of them involved some luck.
In a good omen for the local game, New Zealand now holds the Rugby World Cup title in both the men's and women's games, as well as at under-20 level.
It took a second Beauden Barrett try two minutes from full-time to spare New Zealand's blushes.
Kurtley Beale says Australia's narrow loss to the All Blacks "cuts the heart" but is a manifestation of a belief within the Wallabies set-up they can match it with any team in the world.
Folau set the tone by intercepting a Damian McKenzie pass to race 75 metres for the opening score in the first minute and skipper Hooper burst through a gap following a scrum for another 10 minutes later in a dream start for the Wallabies. "Those are the games which hinge on certain moments and I guess we had one at the end there".
The relentless nature of the Wallabies defence was also able to unsettle the All Blacks to the point where they lost a little faith in their own skill execution. "You're in the best possible position you can be in and you've just got to get out there and do what you do".
Australia would have been 24-7 up after half an hour had Foley not missed two conversion attempts and a penalty.
Foley failed to convert for a second time, his effort striking the post, after referee Nigel Owens checked with the TMO that Genia had not knocked on.
After Beale's try, the All Blacks seemed down and out but again found the capacity to rebound, instantly making the winning try for Barrett.