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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Wallabies have been defeated by the All Blacks 51 to 20 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday night.
The All Blacks have been undefeated by any international opponent at the venue since 1994 but despite a valiant effort from the men in gold, Australia was unable to break the drought at the venue.
The Qantas Wallabies continued to play a strong brand of attacking Rugby throughout the Test but were unable to match the All Blacks for the full 80 minutes meaning that the Bledisloe Cup remains in New Zealand for another year.
Australia will regroup and get ready for their next challenge of defeating the Springboks in Perth on Saturday 6 September, with tickets still available here or at www.rugby.com.au.
The Qantas Wallabies moved into an early lead after the New Zealanders were caught off guard by a high kick from Wallabies utility back Matt Toomua, allowing Kurtley Beale to give the Wallabies a 3-0 lead in the first minute of the match.
The Wallabies matched the All Blacks for physicality in the opening stages of the first half, with the All Blacks forced to attempt to sneak their way over the try line with quick taps.
The resolute Wallabies defence did not crack early but conceded two penalties that All Black flyhalf Aaron Cruden converted.
With the Wallabies on the attack in New Zealand’s defensive zone All Blacks captain Richie McCaw played the ball on the ground, deliberately killing the Qantas Wallabies ball in an attacking position.
In an unusual sight for Rugby fans, McCaw was sent to the sin bin in the in the 14th minute and the Wallabies were given a penalty within striking range. Australian captain Michael Hooper pointed to the posts and Kurtley Beale levelled the scores at 6-6.
The Wallabies defence was continually tested in their own 22, but again turned back the tide of All Black attackers.
Scrumhalf Nic White was penalised at the breakdown allowing Cruden to continue his successful run of kicks taking the score to 9-6 in favour of New Zealand.
The Qantas Wallabies were reduced to 14 men in the 24th minute with Rob Simmons sent to the sin bin by Referee Poite. The experienced All Blacks side used their man advantage to increase the pressure on the Australian defence.
Without a second specialist lock, the Wallabies were unable to hold back the All Blacks Scrum from advancing and Referee Poite awarded a penalty try.
With still a man in the bin the Qantas Wallabies continued to play the running brand of attacking Rugby they are quickly becoming known for with a brilliant run from fullback Israel Folau.
A quick turnover against the Wallabies allowed Aaron Cruden to unleash his winger Julian Savea who scored under the posts taking the All Blacks’ advantage to 23-6, where the score would remain until half time.
With Australia unable to take advantage of some good opportunities, the All Blacks continued to mount the pressure on Australia.
The experience of the world champions showed as Kieran Read and Richie McCaw (2) crashed over for a run of tries extending the All Blacks’ lead from 44 to 6.
The never say die attitude of the Qantas Wallabies continued to shine through as they took their chances with the ball in hand with Israel Folau crossing for the Wallabies’ first try of the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.
A conversion from Kurtley Beale cut the deficit making the score 44-13.
Some fresh reserves in Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley and Will Skelton gave Australia an extra boost as they looked to continue to build momentum.
Australia continued to attack the All Blacks and the courageous Wallabies captain, Michael Hooper powered through several All Black defenders to dive over the line for the Wallabies second try.
Kurtley Beale added the extras quickly as the Wallabies attempted to chase down the All Blacks lead with the scores at 44-20.
Australia continued to ask questions of the All Blacks defence but in the final stages the All Blacks were able to run home with a final try to Steven Luatua allowing New Zealand to finish the match 51-20 victors, keeping the Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand for another year.
Australia will get the opportunity to take on the All Blacks again with a vocal home crowd in Brisbane on Saturday 18 October.