Cool Eales leads by example
John Eales celebrates after clinching a 24-23 win for Australia over New Zealand
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Australia's John Eales slotted a penalty in the fourth minute of injury time to earn his side a dramatic 24-23 victory over New Zealand in Wellington. The Wallabies had raced into an early 12-0 lead after tries from Stirling Mortlock and Joe Roff but Christian Cullen replied with a brace to edge the Kiwis into the lead, the legendary fullback equalling the then All Blacks try-scoring record (39) in the process. The game then descended into a straight shootout between Mortlock and Andrew Mehrtens.
With New Zealand 23-21 ahead, the latter appeared to have edged that particular battle but, after two dramatic line-out steals and a Stephen Larkham hack upfield, Eales was afforded a chance to win the game for the visitors when they were awarded a rather controversial penalty right on the All Black 22. The World Cup-winning skipper held his nerve superbly to nail the resulting kick and the full-time whistle blew just moments later, leaving the All Blacks both shell-shocked and distraught.
National Rugby League star Sonny Bill Williams agreed a move to French side Toulon. The Top 14 club, promoted to France's top flight the previous season, announced they had signed the 23-year-old Bulldogs player in a statement but his proposed move was shrouded in controversy. Toulon were eventually forced to pay a hefty transfer fee for Williams, who had walked out on a lucrative contract in the NRL. He later played two seasons with Toulon before returning to New Zealand with Canterbury in 2010.
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