All Blacks come from behind to down Wallabies
August 13, 2005
Dan Carter beats Lote Tuqiri to the ball during a hard-fought contest
© Getty Images
New Zealand hit back from 13-0 down to score 30 unanswered points to claim the Bledisloe Cup from Australia and win their first Tri-Nations game of 2005. However the win could have come at a cost as flyhalf Dan Carter limped from the field with an ankle injury.
New Zealand hit back from 13-0 down to score 30 unanswered points to claim the Bledisloe Cup from Australia and win their first Tri-Nations game of 2005.
Despite a strong start from the Wallabies, New Zealand picked up the pace to score three tries to one through scrumhalf Piri Weepu, flanker Richie McCaw and wing Joe Rokocoko. Flyhalf Dan Carter added three penalties and two conversions while his replacement Luke McAlister added a conversion.
Australia dominated the opening quarter of an hour and were rewarded with a try for debutant full-back Drew Mitchell who slid over after hitting the line at pace. The Wallabies raced into a 13-0 lead, with fly half Matt Giteau adding the conversion to his two penalties.
As against South Africa a week ago, New Zealand were slow to start and looked unsure of what to do. Australia, on the other hand were full of ideas, disrupting their opponent's ball and making the most of some poor New Zealand defence.
However they were guilty of losing too much ball at the breakdown and came under enormous pressure in the scrum.
Injuries did not help Eddie Jones either as the Wallaby coach saw Matt Giteau, Morgan Turinui and hooker Jeremy Paul all injured.
Jones, whose critics will be sharpening their knives, was forced to send in players just coming back from injury with the likes of Elton Flately, Clyde Rathbone and Brendan Cannon all making appearances a lot earlier than Jones would have liked.
Paul was a huge loss, and Cannon, who has only played a club game, was not match fit, and a yard or two of the Test pace. Too make matters worse; Flately - who replaced Giteau at flyhalf - was also injured forcing replacement scrumhalf Chris Whitaker to take his place.
However New Zealand were charitable and missed plenty of opportunities to score more tries, with wing Rico Gear being the main culprit. There was also an injury worry for the All Blacks as Carter limped off the field.
Rokocoko was back to his best and caused problems for the Wallaby defence all night. His superb run down the flank set up their first try as he bounced Mitchell of a tackle and then charged for the line. He was brought down metres short, but Weepu was on hand to pick up and drive over. They should have gone into the break ahead, but poor choices let them down, and Australia went in 13-10 up. Carter kicked his second penalty a minute into the second half to level the scores as the All Black machine started to fire.
With the Wallaby scrum crumbling, New Zealand won a penalty five metres out and the quick-thinking McCaw tapped quickly and then barged through five yellow jerseys to score.
Australia tried to fight back and although they were going through the phases, they lost the ball to a determined All Black defence. With the clock running down Australia were camped in the All Black 22 when Stirling Mortlock lost the ball at the breakdown. Umaga picked up and passed to Rokocoko who chipped over Mark Gerrard's head, collected the ball and raced away to hammer in the final nail.
Australia have a week to recover before they take on South Africa in Perth, but on this performance the Tri-Nations look set to be decided when the Springboks travel to Dunedin for the final game.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league