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All Blacks secure another Tri-Nations/Bledisloe Cup double

with 2 comments

2008: another year for New Zealand dominance in the Tri-Nations rugby series. With their 28-24 win over Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night, the All Blacks secured another tournament win, taking their overall tally to 9, leaving South Africa and Australia on a paltry 2 each. The All Blacks also retained the Bledisloe Cup (competed for by Australia and New Zealand) for another year, which they have held since 2003. This leaves the final Bledisloe match in Hong Kong as simply an exhibition game. 

The game itself was a fairly close encounter, especially considering the walloping the Wallabies received from the Springboks two weeks earlier. Australia cleaned up many of the mistakes from that match and come out as a much tighter package. They looked pretty good in the first half with most of the possession and territory, yet still found themselves leaking the first try of the match to All Black fullback Mils Muliaina. While Australia seemed to be the ones in control of the game, New Zealand were in fact the more dangerous looking team in attack, and while defending much of the opening half, they took their chances and were rewarded. The Wallabies managed to make something of their possession advantage just before half time when Adam Ashley-Cooper crossed after a clever cross-field kick from flyhalf Matt Giteau to winger Peter Hynes, who put the fullback across the line.

The second half started very well for the men in gold, who after coming out of the sheds firing, found themselves 10 points ahead when lock James Horwill bashed his way through the All Black defense, putting the score 17 to 10 in favour of the Wallabies. This however was the beginning of the end for Australia, as they seemed happy to rest on their laurel and slackened the pace off a bit, while the New Zealanders did just the opposite and stepped up their attack to score three tries in less than 20 minutes. And with each try the game just kept slipping further and further away from the Wallabies. A try from Ryan Cross in the 78th minute mustered up a little hope for a last minute win, but the All Blacks were not prepared to let the game, and indeed the silverware on offer, go once it was in their grasp.

On a whole the two teams were rather evenly matched, but the All Blacks were the team who knew what they had to do to win, and came out and did the job. The Wallabies might count themselves a bit unlucky to lose the match and the trophies as they do have a team who can beat the All Blacks. But you can not give a team like the All Blacks the chance to get back in the game, which is exactly what Australia did in the middle of the second half. 

Both the Springboks and the Wallabies will be very disappointed with their respective Tri-Nations campaigns. At different times during the series, both teams looked like favourites to win, and will be wondering how New Zealand, who at the beginning of the tournament were the best bet for last on the ladder, mounted a great comeback to clinch the series. Richie McCaw’s return was the catalyst for the All Black’s return to form, as with their captain back New Zealand formed a cohesiveness to their team and gameplay that was just too much of a challenge for the other two teams to overcomes. Australia and South Africa must wait a year for another crack at winning the top rugby union tournament in the world, and will probably be hoping McCaw will be injured when that time rolls around again.

 

Final Score:

All Blacks 28 (Mils Muliaina, Tony Woodcock, Piri Weepu, Dan Carter – tries; Dan Carter – 4 Conversions)

Wallabies 24 (Adam Ashley-Cooper, James Horwill, Ryan Cross – tries; Matt Giteau – 3 conversions, 1 penalty)

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Written by Dale Weber

Tuesday, 16 September, 2008 at 7:11 pm

2 Responses

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  1. i am delighted with the win as i am a full sopporter of NZ

    max

    Tuesday, 16 September, 2008 at 11:51 pm

  2. I hate New Zealand. We hates them …

    NSW

    Wednesday, 17 September, 2008 at 8:35 am


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