Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The Qantas Wallabies have claimed their first Castrol Edge Tri Nations title in 10 years with a 25-20 point win over the All Blacks in front of a packed Suncorp Stadium this evening.
After a high intensity first half the Qantas Wallabies led the All Blacks into the break 20-3 with Will Genia and Radike Samo both crossing for the Qantas Wallabies, while Quade Cooper slotted both conversions and two penalty goals.
The second half was a different story for the Qantas Wallabies as the All Blacks came out full of fight and put the first points on the board in the 47th minute through a Dan Carter penalty goal to cut the margin to just two converted tries.
The All Blacks then dominated possession and levelled the scores at 20-all thanks to tries to Conrad Smith in the 52nd minute and Ma’a Nonu in the 59th minute, with Dan Carter making no mistake in converting both.
The Qantas Wallabies struck back almost straight away when hometown hero, Digby Ioane made a break down centre field before handing off to fullback Kurtley Beale who crossed in the 61st minute, Cooper’s reliable boot however failed to extend the lead and the final 19 minutes was a hard fought arm wrestle.
The Qantas Wallabies showed plenty of fight in defence as the All Blacks continued to string phases together, however the Qantas Wallabies stood firm and held the New Zealanders out to claim an historic and well deserved Castrol Edge Tri Nations title in front of nearly 52,000 Australian fans.
Qantas Wallabies 25: Tries – Will Genia, Radike Samo, Kurltey Beale; Conv: Quade Cooper 2/3; Pen Goal: Quade Cooper 2/3.
All Blacks 20: Tries – Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu; Conv: Dan Carter 2/2; Pen Goal: Dan Carter 2/2.
Minute by Minute:
1st: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch.
3rd: Penalty to Australia, kick at goal.
5th: Penalty goal to Australia, Quade Cooper.
7th: Penalty to New Zealand, kick to touch.
10th: Knock on New Zealand, scrum Australia.
11th: Penalty to Australia, quick tap.
12th: Substitution by New Zealand, Kieran Read replaced by Victor Vito
14th: Try to Australia, Will Genia.
15th: Conversion by Australia, Quade Cooper.
16th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch.
20th: Knock on by Australia, scrum to New Zealand.
21st: Penalty to New Zealand, kick to touch.
23rd: Penalty to New Zealand, kick at goal.
24th: Penalty goal to New Zealand, Dan Carter.
26th: Knock on by Australia, scrum to New Zealand.
29th: Penalty to New Zealand, kick to touch.
32nd: Penalty to Australia, kick at goal.
33rd: Penalty goal to Australia, Quade Cooper.
34th: Try to Australia, Radike Samo.
36th: Conversion by Australia, Quade Cooper.
38th: Knock on by Australia, scrum to New Zealand.
38th: New Zealand Substitution, Adam Thomson replaced by Ali Williams.
40th: Half Time – Australia 20 – New Zealand 3.
43rd: Penalty to Australia, scrum to Australia.
44th: Knock on by Australia, scrum to New Zealand.
46th: Penalty to New Zealand, kick at goal.
47th: Penalty Goal to New Zealand, Dan Carter.
48th: Penalty to New Zealand, kick to touch.
52nd: Try to New Zealand, Conrad Smith.
53rd: Conversion by New Zealand, Dan Carter.
55th: Substitution by New Zealand, Zac Guildford replaced by Isaia Toeava.
55th: Substitution by Australia, Dan Vickerman replaced by Rob Simmons.
55th: Obstruction by New Zealand, scrum to Australia.
57th: Penalty to New Zealand, scrum to New Zealand.
59th: Try to New Zealand, Ma’a Nonu.
60th: Conversion by New Zealand, Dan Carter.
61st: Substitution by Australia, Radike Samo replaced by Ben McCalman.
61st: Try to Australia, Kurtley Beale.
62nd: Conversion attempt by Australia unsuccessful, Quade Cooper.
64th: Knock on by New Zealand, scrum to Australia.
64th: Substitution by New Zealand, Piri Weepu replaced by Andrew Ellis.
65th: Knock on by New Zealand, scrum to Australia.
66th: Penalty to New Zealand, kick to touch.
68th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch.
71st: Penalty to Australia, kick at goal.
72nd: Penalty goal attempt unsuccessful, Quade Cooper.
72nd: Substitution by Australia, Rocky Elsom replaced by Scott Higginbotham
73rd: Knock on by Australia, scrum to Australia.
74th: Substitution by New Zealand, Keven Mealamu replaced by Andrew Hore.
74th: Substitution by New Zealand, Owen Franks replaced by John Ofoa
75th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch.
76th: Substitution by Australia, Stephen Moore replaced by Saia Faingaa
76th: Substitution by Australia, Will Genia replaced by Luke Burgess.
76th: Substitution by Australia, Sekope Kepu replaced by Salesi Maafu
80th: Penalty to Australia, Kick to touch.
80th: Full Time – Australia 25 – New Zealand 20.
Crowd - 51,858
Date: Saturday, August 27
Kick Off: 8.05pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Craig Joubert / Cobus Wessels
TMO: Matt Goddard
Follow on Twitter: #AUSvNZ
A second Test starting role for Anthony Fainga’a and starting line-up returns for Radike Samo and Dan Vickerman highlight the Qantas Wallabies run on XV which has been named for Saturday night’s Castrol Edge Tri Nations conclusion at Suncorp Stadium.
The inclusions of Fainga’a and Samo add to what already promises to be a special occasion for local fans, as the Queensland Reds title-winning skipper James Horwill leads his country for the first time in front of a sell out home crowd, becoming Australia’s 77th Test captain.
Horwill will be partnered in the second row by Vickerman, who has been handed a starting role after furthering his match fitness with the Sydney University club in the time since his 28 minutes from the bench in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test of the year, two-and-a-half weeks ago in Auckland.
Behind the pair, Samo starts his first Test since 2004, after coming from the bench for the final 21 minutes of Australia’s gritty 14-9 win over South Africa in Durban 10 days ago.
The big Fijian-born No 8 last started a match at the top level during the Queensland Reds’ 18-13 win over the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final at Suncorp Stadium last month, but has been active in club rugby since.
The Super Rugby finale was also the most recent starting appearance for Anthony Fainga’a, who took the field from the bench at the same time as Samo did in Durban.
Saturday night will be the seventh Test of the Fainga’a career, with both of his starts coming against New Zealand, after he appeared in the midfield during last year’s Test at Christchurch.
His twin brother Saia is again included on the bench, backing up the man of the match from Durban, Stephen Moore.
The promotion of the Queensland pair sees Scott Higginbotham take up a bench role this week. Anthony Fainga’a slots in between inside centre Pat McCabe and the versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper, who moves to the wing in place of the ineligible James O’Connor.
Nathan Sharpe, who has been replaced by Vickerman, instead will this week captain the Australian Barbarians in Friday night’s international against Canada at Skilled Stadium on the Gold Coast.
The final position among the run on reserves has been left vacant, with the 22nd player to be confirmed out of the Barbarians squad once that fixture has been concluded.
While the Bledisloe Cup is beyond Australia following the 14-30 loss in Auckland earlier in the month, a first Tri Nations title since 2001 remains within the Wallabies reach following New Zealand’s 5-18 loss to South Africa in Port Elizabeth last weekend.
That result has set up a winner take all match this weekend, replicating the 2008 tournament decider when the two teams last clashed in Brisbane, which the All Blacks took by four points, 28-24.
To achieve the title, the Wallabies must end a 19-year drought against the All Blacks in Queensland, having last beaten New Zealand in the Sunshine State in 1992, when just two points separated the sides.
Although the prospect of silverware adds further encouragement, Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says the backing of the capacity crowd, and the opportunity to make amends after a disappointing night in Auckland will ensure his men are fully focused on the job at hand, and not their imminent assignment in New Zealand.
“The group showed a lot of character to bounce back in South Africa but no one in our party is getting ahead of themselves,” Deans said.
“The All Blacks are not the bench mark in world rugby without good reason. They give you nothing and pounce on any opportunities that you give them. To beat them, we will need to be disciplined, accurate, composed but, most of all, deserving.”
Deans said the changes to the starting XV reflected the impact the three newcomers had made coming from the bench in their previous outings, as opposed to being of discredit to those who had previously occupied the positions.
“Dan offered go forward for us in the second half in Auckland, and has come on in his overall fitness since that night, while Anthony and Radike both made their presence felt in a big way in Durban. We felt in each instance that their previous contributions warranted further opportunity this week.”
The selectors have once again opted for a five-forward, two-back split, with Deans saying the versatility among Australia’s starting backline allowed that option.
“The contest in the contact zone will be critical, as it has been in each of the four Tests we’ve already had this year, so we’ve opted for a little more strength and depth in that area.”
Nor does Deans see Saturday night as anything other than a stand-alone contest.
“Obviously there is a lot of rugby coming up in New Zealand, and there will inevitably be expectations around the impact that this weekend might have on that but while a lot is going to happen beyond Saturday, we can’t afford to – and won’t – be looking beyond this game.”
The Test will be refereed by Wayne Barnes of England.
Australia has just twice previously won the Tri Nations in the competition’s 16-year history, going back-to-back in 2000 and 2001.
Australia v New Zealand @ Brisbane – Historical Notes
• This is the 166th match of a trans-Tasman rivalry that dates back to 1903 when New Zealand won the inaugural meeting 22-3 in Sydney.
• This tally includes the 24 matches played between 1920 and 1928 when NSW represented Australia.
• Of the 165 games played between the two nations, New Zealand has won 114 and Australia 46, with five draws – the most recent of which occurred in Brisbane 23 years ago, when the two teams finished at 19-19 in the second match of the 1988 series. There have been 57 matches between the teams since the last drawn game.
• The Bledisloe Cup was donated by the then Governor General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe, for competition between the two countries in 1931.
• Australia won the trophy for the first time in 1934, beating New Zealand 25-11 in Sydney.
• Suncorp Stadium is one of four Test venues that have been used in Brisbane. The others are Ballymore, the Brisbane Exhibition Ground and the Woollongabba Ground, which is better known as the city’s venue for cricket.
• Ballymore, which has traditionally been the home of rugby in Queensland, last hosted a Test in 2000 when Australia beat Argentina 53-6.
• Lang Park, as it was formerly known, was the scene of Australia’s record-breaking 76-0 demolition of England in 1998.
• The ground is also the home venue for the Brisbane Bronco’s club in the National Rugby League and the Queensland Roar in football’s A-League competition.
• The site of the ground was originally a cemetery, and then later a rubbish dump before being re-zoned as a sporting precinct. Lang Park became the headquarters for Queensland rugby league in 1957. It was named for the late Reverend John Dunmore Lang who had established the original cemetery on the site in 1840.
• Lang Park hosted its first rugby league match in 1958.
• Its first rugby union international came seven years later in 1965, when Australia beat South Africa 12-8, although it did not become a regular union venue until 31 years later when Tri-Nations matches were held at the ground due to its greater capacity than Ballymore.
• Saturday night represents the 19th Test played by Australia at the ground. The Wallabies have won 15 of the previous matches played and lost three, with all three defeats being sustained against the All Blacks.
• New Zealand has won the previous trans-Tasman Tests at Lang Park/Suncorp Stadium by margins of seven, four and four points respectively.
• Australia did lose the first Test of the 2001 British & Irish Lions series in Brisbane, but the 13-29 defeat was sustained at the ‘Gabba.
• There have been 18 previous trans-Tasman Test matches in Queensland, the most recent being three years ago when the All Blacks shaded the Wallabies 28-24 in what was effectively the 2008 Tri Nations final at Suncorp Stadium.
• Overall, New Zealand has won 14 of the previous 18 matches in Queensland and Australia two, while two further matches (1974 & 1988) were drawn.
• Australia’s wins were achieved in 1929 (17-9) and 1992 (19-17).
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