All Blacks and referee break Wallabies' hearts in controversial thriller
RUGBY CHAMPS REPORT: The Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup drought has stretched to a 20th year after they suffered a heart-breaking 37-39 loss to the All Blacks in a drama-charged Test in Melbourne.
The Australians looked headed for a famous victory at Docklands Stadium on Thursday after they scrapped their way back from 13-31 down, but All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett scored in the corner after the full-time hooter to secure the win.
The Wallabies took the lead 37-34 in the 77th minute after Nic White nailed a 55-metre penalty.
The visitors had a chance to level but instead opted for a five-metre line-out and the Wallabies forced a penalty at the breakdown.
However, French referee Mathieu Raynal controversially turned the penalty into a NZ scrum due to time-wasting, saying Bernard Foley didn’t play on when the clock restarted.
From the ensuing play the All Blacks found their man in Barrett, leaving the Wallabies devastated.
There was plenty to like about the Wallabies with fullback Andrew Kellaway scoring two tries and denied another by a blade of grass.
Flyhalf Foley, playing his first Test in three years, was a stand-out as was flank Pete Samu in his first start of the year, while No.8 Rob Valetini also stood up.
The teams were locked at 10-10 at half-time after a hectic half that saw the All Blacks lose three players, including skipper Sam Cane to injury, while the Wallabies were forced to play with 13 men after both Darcy Swain and Tom Wright were yellow-carded at the same time.
Swain was sent to the sidelines in the 36th minute for an ugly tackle on the leg of Quinn Tupaea, with the reserve back assisted from the field with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
Wright was given his card for a professional foul trying to stop a break by All Blacks wing Caleb Clarke.
The home side got off to the worst possible start with a series of errors leaving them down 0-10 after 12 minutes, including a try by barnstorming hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho.
It looked like the Wallabies were on the scoreboard in the 20th minute but Kellaway missed grounding the ball by centimetres.
Valetini made no mistake five minutes later when the big No.8 barrelled over the line with Foley converting for a 10-10 scoreline.
New Zealand looked like they would run away with the match, taking advantage of another Wallabies yellow card with Richie Mo’unga and Will Jordan both crossing to push the lead out to 31-13.
But Kellaway scored twice and then Samu touched down in the 73rd minute, with Foley adding the extras to send the match into a thrilling finale.
When the game eventually ended referee Raynal was booed off the field for his decision that led to New Zealand’s match-winning score.
Man of the match: It was a remarkable match and there were a lot of standout performers. All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho was immense in open play and he scored two of his team’s five tries. Fullback Jordie Barrett also had one of his best games in an All Blacks jersey. He was lethal out wide and he scored the match-winner. Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley has shown that he still has what it takes at this level. He brought calmness and he was excellent on attack. However, the award goes to Wallabies No.7 Pete Samu. He was simply outstanding with ball in hand. He was a hard man to bring down and he scored a brilliant try in the second half.
Tries: Valetini, Kellaway 2, Samu
Cons: Foley 4
Pens: Foley 2, White
For New Zealand:
Tries: Taukei’aho 2, Mo’unga, Jordan, J Barrett
Cons: Mo’unga 4
Pens: Mo’unga 2
Yellow cards: Dalton Papali’i (New Zealand, 26′ – cynical play, collapsing the maul); Tom Wright (Australia, 36′ – cynical play, not rolling away); Darcy Swain (Australia, 36′ – Danderous play at ruck); Jake Gordan (Australia, 51′ – cynical play, collapsing the maul)
Australia: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Pete Samu, 6 Rob Leota, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Nic White, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea.
Referee: Matthieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Pierre Brousset (France)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)