Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Carter boots All Blacks to narrow win over Aussies

AFP , SYDNEY

Dan Carter kicked a penalty two minutes from time to give New Zealand a pulsating 19-18 win and end Australia’s Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup hopes in Sydney yesterday.

The All Blacks powered back in the second half after trailing 12-3 at halftime to score the only try of a titanic struggle and keep alive their chances of retaining the southern hemisphere championship.

New Zealand’s gripping win puts them four points behind series leaders South Africa with two home games left to play next month.

The All Blacks also retained the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup with two wins over the Wallabies and two matches left to play.

Replacement center Ma’a Nonu scored the only try of the contest 16 minutes from the end but the All Blacks had two other tries disallowed as they dominated second half territory and possession.

Carter, playing his first Test of the season after missing all of New Zealand’s six other Tests with an Achilles injury, again proved the difference.

Carter is now just 12 points shy of fellow Kiwi Andrew Mehrtens’ Tri-Nations point-scoring record of 338.

Flyhalf Ron Giteau kicked all of the Wallabies’ points with six penalties from as many attempts, but the home side could not come up with the try to keep them in Tri-Nations contention.

The Wallabies now have two home Tests against the Springboks, in Perth next weekend and in Brisbane on Sept. 5.

It was another gut-wrenching finish for the Wallabies, who have now lost their last five internationals against New Zealand since their last 34-19 win in Sydney last year.

It was a try-less opening half, with Giteau kicking the Wallabies to a 12-3 halftime lead.

Three players went to the blood bin as ferocious body contact took its toll with All Blacks inside-centre Luke McAlister sickened after making a tackle and Wallabies’ Stephen Moore and Benn Robinson leaving the field temporarily with facial gashes.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans lost his patience with tight-head prop Al Baxter and hauled him off in the 31st minute after Baxter had conceded his second scrum penalty.

The Wallabies almost scored right on halftime when Berrick Barnes broke clear and passed to Nathan Sharpe, but the big lock was brought down near the line by scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan, who was penalized, giving Giteau a shot at goal after the siren.

The Australians paid for ill-discipline when they lost No. 8 Richard Brown to the sin bin for a lifting tackle on prop Owen Franks minutes after the resumption.

The Kiwis threw everything at the Wallabies and finally got over the try-line, with Nonu handling twice in a move with Rokocoko to score out wide.

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