Planet Rugby

Bledisloe staying in All Blacks country

07th August 2010 07:54

Share:

rocky elsom australia v new zealand

KO'd: Rocky Elsom's Wallabies go down in Christchurch

New Zealand beat an improved Australia outfit 20-10 in Christchurch on Saturday to retain the Bledisloe Cup, but will have to wait a little longer to win back their Tri-Nations crown.

The All Blacks needed five points from this clash at AMI Stadium to bring the Tri-Nations tournament to a premature end, however they could only manage two tries thanks to some strong defence by the Wallabies who kept their hosts at bay.

Richie McCaw and his troops now require just a lone bonus point from their remaining two away matches against Australia and South Africa to make it a fait accompli following the world's top-ranked team's thirteenth consecutive Test win.

The 10-point triumph also was a record-equalling ninth successive victory over Australia, who have now gone eight years without the Bledisloe Cup. The Wallabies delivered a vastly-improved showing on the previous week's debacle in Melbourne, but the All Blacks still had too much power and precision to deny their trans-Tasman rivals a much-needed victory.

The Wallabies continue to miss Quade Cooper, a player capable of breaking the line from the fly-half position. While Matt Giteau disappointed, his cause wasn't helped by an inconsistent showing by this forwards, as a large amount of possession often didn't translate into ground gained. It was a credit to the home defence and their work on the deck, but the Wallabies pack could have done better.

The All Blacks didn't have everything their own way at the tackle, often conceding penalties in their attempt to stifle the Australians. But when they did turn possession over, a well-placed kick or incisive counter-attack earned them great territory.

The game was not without its frustrations for the Wallabies, desperate to come back from their 49-28 hiding last week, as the All Blacks rode their luck with ruck infringements - twice they escaped with warnings but no yellow cards.

Although the Wallabies controlled possession for the first five minutes it was the All Blacks who scored first in a move which started when lock Tom Donnelly snapped up a turnover ball to charge 20 metres downfield.

When he was brought down on the 22m line by Kurtley Beale, the All Blacks quickly recycled and Mils Muliaina was sent over in the corner.

Dan Carter converted from the sideline and then went from hero to zero soon after the restart when he lost the ball in a tackle which resulted in David Pocock and Nathan Sharpe sending Beale on a 65m run to the line who outpaced Carter to score in a handy position for Giteau to convert.

Scores weren't levelled for long, though, with a defensive blunder from makeshift winger James O'Connor allowing All Blacks centre Conrad Smith an easy try in the thirteenth minute.

Instead of staying on his wing, O'Connor was caught in two minds as classy inside centre Ma'a Nonu exposed the youngster's inexperience with a lovely long pass to his partner in crime for a score in the corner.

Carter again nailed the sideline conversion to give New Zealand a 14-7 lead, before Giteau narrowed the gap to four points with a 20th-minute penalty goal after the All Blacks were caught offside.

The All Blacks went to the break enjoying a 17-10 advantage following a Carter penalty in the 33rd minute after Wallabies scrum-half Will Genia was pinged for not releasing.

There was definite change of mood by the All Blacks after half-time as the Wallabies mounted wave after wave of attacks. New Zealand put the brakes on their free-for-all running and turned more to their fly-half to kick them out of trouble as they withstood 30 minutes of pressure.

A Carter penalty produced the only points of the second half but the All Blacks were always in control as they wound down the clock. They may have to wait a few weeks to lift the trophy, but there's no doubt the title will be returning to New Zealand.

The Wallabies need to score bonus-point wins in their remaining three games and hope the All Blacks lose their remaining fixtures without consolation... highly unlikely.

Man of the match: Playing at home in Christchurch, Dan Carter showcased his extensive attacking arsenal: the darting runs, the chip-and-regathers, the probing punts, and the gap-manufacturing passes. To cap it all, he goaled every kick.

Moment of the match: Of all the tries scored, Mils Muliaina's effort wins our vote. In a word: brilliant.

Villain of the match: Tony Woodcock's clearance of Saia Faingaa from behind at the ruck was illegal and uncalled for. Playing in his 67th match for New Zealand, the All Blacks' most capped prop can count his lucky stars he didn't do his celebrating in the bin.

The scorers:

For New Zealand:
Tries: Muliaina, Smith
Cons: Carter 2
Pens: Carter 2

For Australia:
Try: Beale
Con: Giteau
Pen: Giteau

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Jo Rokocoko, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Sam Whitelock, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Benson Stanley

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Will Genia, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (capt), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Matt Hodgson, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Cameron Shepherd.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (SA)

By Dave Morris

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand15:00
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615