Sun, Aug 09, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Australia prove too strong for All Blacks

AFP, SYDNEY

New Zealand players perform a haka before their Rugby Championship match against Australia in Sydney yesterday.

Photo: AP

Replacement Nic White proved the unlikely hero as the Wallabies ended a 10-match losing run against the All Blacks to win the Rugby Championship title in Sydney yesterday.

The scrumhalf scored a try and kicked a long-range penalty goal and a conversion in the final minutes to give Australia a 27-19 win before 73,824 fans at the ANZ Stadium.

The Wallabies trailed the All Blacks 6-3 at half-time, but controlled much of the second half.

The Wallabies could thank a desperate tackle from Michael Hooper for only trailing by three points at half-time.

Australia started promisingly, but they went a man down when prop Sekope Kepu was yellow carded for offside as New Zealand pressed Australia’s try-line.

Dan Carter kicked the penalty, but the Wallabies suffered no further damage during Kepu’s absence and leveled with a Matt Giteau penalty in the 27th minute in their first sustained period of attack.

Carter kept the All Blacks in front with a 40m penalty, while Giteau’s second attempt came off an upright.

Israel Folau sliced through, but was brought down by a last-ditch tackle from counterpart Ben Smith, only for the Wallabies to blow a try-scoring chance, with Dean Mumm fumbling a poorly directed Nick Phipps in the next phase.

A thundering burst from prop Owen Franks put New Zealand on the attack on half-time, but a great covering tackle by Hooper on winger Julian Savea saved the situation for the Wallabies.

Aaron Smith was sin-binned for high tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper, but the Wallabies hit the front through an unlikely source minutes later.

Tight-head prop Kepu steamed through Kieran Read’s tackle and another to score under the bar for Giteau to convert for a 10-6 lead.

Carter kicked the All Blacks to within a point with his third penalty.

Phipps capped a miserable night when he was sin-binned for a professional foul, tackling Conrad Smith in an offside position off a quick tap-kick to leave his team down a man at a critical time.

The All Blacks made the Wallabies pay when debut winger Nehe Milner-Skudder finished off a Ben Smith break to put New Zealand back in front two minutes later.

Replacement Matt Toomua made an immediate impact with a clever kick for Ashley-Cooper to regather and score in the right corner, with Giteau converting for a 17-14 lead.

Milner-Skudder retrieved the lead for the All Blacks with his second try, wrestling the ball over the try-line at the second attempt.

Replacement scrumhalf White put the Wallabies ahead with a 47m penalty into the final 10 minutes.

White proved the hero when he broke two tackles close to the All Blacks line to dart over for Australia’s third try and kick the conversion for a 27-19 lead with eight minutes left.

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