New Zealand 16-16 Australia: All Blacks and Wallabies draw in dramatic Bledisloe opener

By Sports Desk October 11, 2020

Australia's Reece Hodge hit the post with a long-range penalty in extra time as the Wallabies and New Zealand played out a breathtaking 16-16 draw in game one of the Bledisloe Cup.

Hodge had the chance to secure Australia's first win over the All Blacks in Wellington since 2000 as the full-time siren sounded but the replacement back's 54-metre kick agonisingly struck the post on Sunday.

The All Blacks and Wallabies continued to go head-to-head for nine additional see-sawing minutes before the visitors kicked the ball out for a draw as New Zealand came close to claiming victory in a stunning finish in wet conditions.

It was a battle of the debutant coaches as New Zealand head coach Ian Foster and Australia counterpart Dave Rennie oversaw their first Tests in charge since replacing Steve Hansen and Michael Cheika respectively.

The All Blacks and Wallabies were both playing for the first time in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, and a crowd was in attendance at Sky Stadium for the first of four Bledisloe Cup showdowns.

It was a lively start as the All Blacks crossed over first via Jordie Barrett – the younger brother of Beauden who missed the clash with an Achilles tendon problem – after the Wallabies were carved open but the former was unable to convert the try nine minutes in.

Led by centurion captain Michael Hooper – making his 100th career Test appearance – the Wallabies looked threatening in attack and continued to cause the All Blacks problems, but New Zealand managed to extend their lead to 8-0 on the boot of Barrett, who converted his first ever penalty at international level.

Having failed to capitalise on their possession and good field position, the Wallabies finally got on the board just past the half-hour mark when James O'Connor nailed his penalty.

The All Blacks thought they had taken a 13-3 lead into half-time after Rieko Ioane crossed over, but replays showed he failed to ground the ball following a swift breakaway – Australia handed a reprieve.

Denied a try on the stroke of half-time, New Zealand were not to be denied a second time as Aaron Smith shook off two defenders to put the All Blacks 13-3 ahead just four minutes into the second half, after Australia's O'Connor saw his penalty sail wide of the post minutes earlier.

Australia refused to surrender as they crossed over at speed, Marika Koroibete unstoppable as he powered down the left flank and grounded the ball to cut the deficit to 13-8 before debutant Filipo Daugunu levelled proceedings as the crowd went silent in the 63rd minute.

Daugunu – played in by an incredible through-the-legs from Nick White – became just the fourth Wallabies player since the beginning of this century to score a try when their career Test debut has been against the All Blacks, per Opta.

O'Connor and Barrett traded penalties down the stretch to level the match and set up a grandstand finish, which saw Hodge almost snatch victory for Australia inside his own half.

Related items

  • England to be without injured Archer for New Zealand series England to be without injured Archer for New Zealand series

    Jofra Archer has been ruled out of England’s two-Test series against New Zealand having suffered a setback in his return from an elbow injury.

    Pace bowler Archer made his comeback in domestic action for Sussex this week after undergoing surgery on his right hand at the end of March.

    However, a persistent elbow issue flared up while in action against Kent, with Archer unable to bowl during the final two days of the County Championship fixture.

    England confirmed on Sunday that the 26-year-old will now seek further medical advice over the next course of action, meaning he will not feature in either game against the Black Caps on home soil.

    "England and Sussex seamer Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand starting next month," an England and Wales Cricket Board statement read.

    "Archer, who returned to action for Sussex in the LV= Insurance County Championship against Kent this week at Hove, only bowled five overs in Kent’s second innings. He was suffering from pain in his right elbow when bowling and was unable to bowl in the final two days of the match.

    "The England and Sussex medical teams will now seek guidance, and Archer will see a medical consultant later this week to determine the next course of action on the management of his elbow."

    Archer bowled 13 overs in Kent’s first innings, taking 2-29 in a rain-hit contest that finished as a draw.

    He has 42 wickets at an average of 31.04 in 13 Test appearances for England, who have a home series to come against India later in the year.

  • All Blacks great Read retires from rugby All Blacks great Read retires from rugby

    All Blacks great Kieran Read has retired from rugby.

    Read had said he would end his career at the end of the Japan Top League season, and his Toyota Verblitz side suffered a 48-21 semi-final defeat against the Panasonic Wild Knights on Sunday.

    In a post on social media, Read said: "I'm looking forward to returning to New Zealand and spending time with my family."

    "Thank you to the @toyotaverblitz team for the friendships I will hold onto for my lifetime, it's been a challenging time for everyone involved but proud of the direction we are heading," Read wrote on Instagram. 

    "Also, a massive thanks to all the fans of rugby in Japan for your support."

    Read was part of two New Zealand World Cup-winning sides, earning 127 caps for the All Blacks to put him third all-time in that regard. Richie McCaw tops the list with 148 Test caps.

    He played 52 of his Tests as skipper and was the 66th captain of New Zealand. Only McCaw (110) made more appearances as captain of the All Blacks.

    With 107 victories, Read is one of only five players to win 100 Test matches, along with fellow All Blacks McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock and Sam Whitelock.

    His run of 19 consecutive victories as All Blacks captain from 2012 to 2016 is a record.

  • Super Rugby: Crusaders & Chiefs cling on as Blues thrash Rebels Super Rugby: Crusaders & Chiefs cling on as Blues thrash Rebels

    Super Rugby Aotearoa champions the Crusaders survived a second-half fightback from the Brumbies to start their Trans-Tasman campaign with a dramatic 31-29 win.

    The Crusaders appeared to be on course for a comfortable victory when they led 19-7 at the interval thanks to tries from Ethan Blackadder, Richie Mo'unga and David Havili.

    Irae Simone's try and five points from the boot of Noah Lolesio trimmed the gap to two points after the break, only for Brendon O'Connor and Cullen Grace to cross to restore the Crusaders' measure of command.

    But Tom Banks' try and Lolesio's conversion restored hope for Super Rugby AU runners-up the Brumbies, who then moved within two points of sending the game to extra time when Tom Wright's inside pass sent Rob Valetini over in the last minute.

    However, this time Lolesio could not find the desired accuracy from the tee, his kick from the sideline sailing just wide of the left-hand post as the Crusaders clung on.

    There was a markedly similar end to the Chiefs' 20-19 victory over the Western Force.

    The Chiefs led 10-7 at half-time and tries from Nathan Harris and Jonah Lowe appeared to put them in control.

    But Luke Jacobson's 66th red card, which came after he received a second yellow for slowing the ball down at the ruck, gave the Force new life.

    They made their one-man advantage count three minutes later as Richard Kahui went over and had a chance to snatch victory at the last after Domingo Miotti crossed.

    Miotti, though, could not convert his own try, sending the attempt agonisingly wide of the uprights.

    That kick ensured it was a clean sweep for New Zealand sides over their Australian opponents, the Blues having run in eight tries in trouncing the Rebels 50-3 earlier in the day.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.