Bledisloe Cup: New Zealand recover late draw with Australia in first test since March

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Australia haven’t won in New Zealand since a 23-15 victory in 2001 in Dunedin
New Zealand (8) 16
Try: J Barrett, Smith Pens: J Barrett 2
Australia (3) 16
Try: Koroibete, Daugunu Pens: O’Connor 2

Jordie Barrett’s 79th-minute penalty saved New Zealand’s 16-16 draw against Australia in the first international test match since March.

The Wallabies were chasing a first victory in New Zealand in 19 years.

The game was the first international test match since the Covid-19 restrictions, and the first for new All Blacks coach Ian Foster and Wallabies counterpart Dave Rennie.

The second of four Bledisloe Cup matches will take place on Sunday, October 18 (02:00 BST).

The match was played in front of a capacity of 31,000 spectators without masks in Wellington, with New Zealand having largely contained the virus.

Wallabies substitute Reece Hodge had the chance to win the game in the second of nine minutes of overtime, but her 50m penalty hit the post.

The match continued for an additional seven minutes of continuous play as both teams sought victory before Australian fly-half James O’Connor decided to end the fight with a touch kick.

O’Connor pushed the visitors three points ahead with a 74th minute penalty.

It was a two-half story as the All Backs should have been 15-3 in the first half, but Rieko Ioane couldn’t add to Barrett’s opening try as he let dropping the ball while trying to get it over the Australian line.

Aaron Smith went on to extend the hosts’ lead four minutes after the restart, before tries from Marika Koroibete and Filipo Daugunu brought the Wallabies back into the game.

The teams

New Zealand: McKenzie; J. Barrett, John, Goodhue, Bridge; Mo’unga, Smith; Moody, Taylor, Tu’ungafasi, Tuipulotu, Whitelock, Frizzel, Cane, Savea.

Substitutes: Coles, Tuinukuafe, Lomax, Vaa’i, Sotutu, Perenara, Liernert-Brown, Clarke.

Australia: Banks; Daugunu, Paisami, Toomua, Koroibete; O’Connor, white; Pantoufle, Fainga’a, Tupou, Salakaia-Loto, Philip, Wilson, Hooper, Samu.

Substitutes: Wales, Sio, Alaalatoa, Simmons, Valetini, Gordon, Lolesio, Hodge.

Arbitrator: Paul Williams (New Zealand)

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