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Last minute try secures victory and the Bledisloe Cup



Jordie Barrett scored a controversial last-minute try to give the All Blacks a Bledisloe Cup-winning 39-37 win in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Melbourne on Thursday.

In a game that tested the lawbook in rare fashion, a first half that lasted 58 minutes and saw the Australians come back from 13-31 down to push the All Blacks to the limit, it had everything.


Three yellow cards to Australia, two of them at the same time, and one for New Zealand made it a niggly game, yet the last-minute try kept the All Blacks in the hunt to claim the Rugby Championship in the return match at Eden Park on Saturday week.


Australia tested the limits of the law and paid the consequences with three yellow cards, but all that may pale with referee Matthieu Raynal’s last-minute decision to penalise them for time wasting in front of their goalposts.


Raynal explained that when the penalty from the breakdown was awarded time was stopped. When it resumed he told Australia first five-eighths Bernard Foley to play, but he delayed, and delayed, and Raynal awarded the All Blacks the scrum that provided Barrett’s try.


New Zealand put the pressure on from the start but Australia, while rattled early, settled down and refused to bow.


Australia failed to take the kick-off to start the game and the All Blacks pounced with immediate effect. Australia conceded three penalties and each time the All Blacks put their lineout to use, finally succeeding with hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho crossing in the third minute.



Enjoying some time with the ball, much of it generated by halfback Jake Gordon, including a high kick that bounced favourably for No8 Rob Valentini who kicked it down the sideline to set up the chance for a penalty goal, and then a try to fullback Andrew Kelleway.


However, the 20th minute try was disallowed when television evidence showed All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane prevented the ball from being grounded.


Raynal twice penalised the All Blacks for closing the gap at the lineout. On the second occasion in the 24th minute, they secured a try for Valetini when the maul split. In the process, replacement flanker Dalton Papali’i, who had just come on for Sam Cane, who was having an HIA which he failed, was sin-binned for bringing the maul down.


Valetini, and flankers Pete Samu and Rob Leota, had the desired effect for Australia. Samu made a superb break that provided the momentum that lead to Valetini’s try, while Leota was strong in the breakdown and on the tackle.


The game came unstuck in the latter stages of the half which was extended to 58 minutes. Australia lost wing Tom Wright to the sinbin for cynical play after a sensational midfield run by wing Caleb Clarke.


Then the TMO saw dangerous play when replacement forward Darcy Swain hit replacement second five-eighths Quinn Tupaea with an illegal tackle to his leg when he was emerging from a ruck. Swain appeared fortunate to have only a yellow card.


Tupaea had to be assisted from the field with a knee injury, leaving both he and Havili, who failed an HIA, out of the game. That saw Beauden Barrett on to play fullback with brother Jordie moving to second five-eighths.


New Zealand went close to scoring again just before the break from a lineout drive only for Gordon to knock the ball from Taukei’aho’s hand as he attempted to ground the ball.


It took only 52 seconds to take advantage of Australia being reduced to 13 men when from the restart the Beauden Barrett kicked to Will Jordan’s wing and the ball was moved with Rieko Ioane and No8 Hoskins Sotutu running before Sotutu kicked ahead.


Kelleway took the ball but the All Blacks counter-rucked and it was prop Ethan de Groot and lock Brodie Retallick who were positioned in the backline to feed Taukei’aho who had the power to score his second.


A superb lineout drive exposed the Australian defences and Gordon was sin-binned for collapsing a maul and from the resulting lineout the move saw Jordie Barrett feeding  first five-eighths Richie Mo’unga who stepped his way across in the 51st minute.


Two minutes later Jordan took a Beauden Barrett chip kick and raced away from the chasing Australian defence for a 20th try, in his 20th Test.


Australia responded with penalties getting them into the All Blacks’ 22m area. From a lineout, Foley in the midfield broke the line and fed Kelleway across.


Six minutes later, Kelleway benefited from another penalty lineout and the long pass from centre Len Ikitau put him in space for the try, to pull the score back to 27-31.


Mo’unga landed a penalty goal but Australia secured the ball from a Mo’unga kick and they moved the ball, worked the rucks and then freed it to Samu on the left flank. He broke a tackle, fed Marika Koroibete who fed back to Samu who scored.


The situation was not helped when replacement halfback Nic White slammed over a 50m penalty goal to give Australia a 37-34 lead with four minutes to play.


But the Australians felt they had secured the game when the All Blacks had kicked to the corner rather than the posts. However, Australia won a penalty at a breakdown after the maul but Reyand made his time-wasting decision and awarded the scrum to the All Blacks.


They moved the ball through Mo’unga, Jordan, who stepped, drew a tackle and then fed Jordie Barrett over in the corner.


Australia 37 (Rob Valentini, Andrew Kelleway 2, Pete Samu tries;  Bernard Foley 4 con, 2 pen; Nic White pen) New Zealand 39 (Samisoni Taukei’aho 2, Richie Mo’unga, Will Jordan, Jordie Barrett tries; Mo’unga 4 con, 2 pen). HT: 10-10.

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Barrett eager to take chance in 12 jersey



All Black Jordie Barrett has been hanging out for the chance to play second five-eighths in Test matches, and last week’s double whammy of injuries in the position has provided him with a start against Australia in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship Test at Eden Park on Saturday.

The injuries David Havili and Quinn Tupaea suffered within minutes of each other in Melbourne have provided him with that opportunity in the most important game of the season, with the Rugby Championship possibly on the line.


Barrett said playing second five-eighths for the All Blacks was a challenge he had been waiting for, for some time.


“I’m comfortable with playing 12, it just presents another challenge at this level. I got a bit of a taste last week. It’s another Test, at Eden Park against an Aussie side that’s hurting so I’m expecting a bit of traffic.”


Centre Rieko Ioane had some empathy with Barrett having had to wait to play his preferred position of centre rather than wing. He described them as ‘a couple of misfits’ in midfield.


Training had gone well for both of them, and he said the fact Barrett was a good talker made Ioane’s job a lot easier.



“Jordie’s a good carrier, he’s got a good pass-kick skill set which is good, it provides another threat to our backline, and just the skills from the back. Coming from fullback you need that vision. With David [Havili] and Quinn [Tupaea] having gone down, he slots in perfectly to suit our backline.”


Ioane said he felt the defensive difference from wing to centre was what had taken him time to adjust. Being a wing, he knew what he wanted from a centre and vice versa. And, as an outside back, Jordie Barrett knew what his outsides would be looking for from a second five-eighths.


Ioane said midfield replacement and Blues teammate Roger Tuivasa-Sheck hadn’t played a lot for the All Blacks this season, but he was learning as much as possible at training.


Playing for Auckland and time spent with the All Blacks’ second five-eighths would only accelerate his adaption, and Ioane said he was excited about what he will bring when playing on Saturday.


Barrett said consistency was something the All Blacks chased all the time, and the truth was they hadn’t been as proud as they might have been about their play in recent times.


They wanted to get better every week, and another big challenge lay ahead this week.


Ioane said: “Australia will be a better side than they were last week. I think both teams are looking to do that. We’re expecting more of last week but at a high intensity.


“Being back at home, we want to lift and play the game that we should have ended on last week.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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PREVIEW: All Blacks v Australia Second Test (Eden Park)



With the Bledisloe Cup wrapped up for 2022, the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship and a 28-year unbeaten streak at Eden Park are on the line on Saturday night.

Match details: All Blacks v Australia, Saturday 24 September, 7.05pm NZT, Eden Park, Auckland


Played: 174

Won: All Blacks 121, Australia 45, Drawn 8

Last time: All Blacks 39, Australia 37 (15 September 2022)

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)




Injuries have forced changes to the team that defeated Australia in Melbourne, with captain Sam Cane, Scott Barrett, David Havili and Quinn Tupaea unavailable for selection. Sam Whitelock will lead a side which has welcomed No.8 Ardie Savea back from parental leave. He will slot into a loose forward trio featuring Dalton Papali’i at openside flanker and Akira Ioane on the blindside. With Havili and Tupaea out of the midfield selection frame, the All Blacks have retained a key combination that finished the Test in Melbourne. Jordie Barrett will play second-five eighths while brother Beauden will stay at fullback. The front row sees experienced hooker Codie Taylor selected in the run-on side while Samisoni Taukei’aho will provide cover, alongside props Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Nepo Laulala. Lock Tupou Vaa’i, midfielder Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and outside back Sevu Reece are the other new faces added to the reserves.




With one round remaining in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship, all four teams are still in the running to clinch the title. The All Blacks are currently at the top of the ladder due to a better points differential than South Africa who are also on 14 points. The All Blacks will be searching for a bonus point win over the Wallabies to give them the best shot of winning the title. If the All Blacks and South Africa end the competition tied on points, it will come down to who has the best points differential between the sides. For Australia to win the title, they would need to beat the All Blacks with a bonus point and then hope that Argentina tip over South Africa in Durban and deny them a bonus point.  The longest shot to win the title is Argentina who would first need Australia to defeat the All Blacks with neither team picking up a bonus point. From there they would have to secure a bonus point win and hope their points differential is better than the All Blacks and South Africa who they would be equal with on 14 points.


There’s no bigger occasion in New Zealand rugby than a packed house at Eden Park for a Test match against the old foe. Although the Bledisloe Cup is already locked away in the trophy cabinet for another year, the All Blacks are treating the game like a final with the Rugby Championship title at stake. Forwards coach Jason Ryan said the side had prepared all week as though they were going into a sudden-death final. “It’s a New Zealand-Australia Test match at Eden Park. There’s a lot on the line, and we’re treating it as a final. We’ve prepared accordingly to expect that,” Ryan said.



Australia may not have won in Auckland against the All Blacks since 1986, but they believe they can storm the New Zealand fortress to claim a win and give themselves a mathematical chance of claiming the Championship. Former Bay of Plenty mid-fielder Lalakai Foketi said the Wallabies had to dig deep when down 31-13 in Melbourne and would take that momentum into the Eden Park clash. “Out there, there was no feeling of disbelief or thought the All Blacks were going to run away with it,” Foketi said. “It was just the belief and the leaders, especially Nard [Foley] coming in, staying controlled, and giving us our next role. I felt like we were still in good stead to keep doing what we were doing and keep in the game.”



Discipline will be key for the All Blacks at Eden Park given the Wallabies hot form from the kicking tee in 2022. The Wallabies goal-kicking success rate of 92% this year is 11 percentage points higher than any other Tier One nation and 14 percentage points higher than the All Blacks. Bernard Foley will assume kicking duties for Australia with accomplished kickers Nic White and Reece Hodge on the bench.



TEAMS (Test caps in brackets):


All Blacks


1: Ethan de Groot (9) 2: Codie Taylor (71) 3: Tyrel Lomax (19) 4: Brodie Retallick (97) 5: Samuel Whitelock (139) – Captain 6: Akira Ioane (18) 7: Dalton Papali’i (17) 8: Ardie Savea (66) 9: Aaron Smith (110) 10: Richie Mo’unga (40) 11: Caleb Clarke (10) 12: Jordie Barrett (44) 13: Rieko Ioane (55) 14: Will Jordan (20) 15: Beauden Barrett (108)


RESERVES: 16: Samisoni Taukei’aho (16) 17: Ofa Tu’ungfasi (47) 18: Nepo Laulala (41) 19: Tupou Vaa’i (14) 20: Hoskins Sotutu (11) 21: Finlay Christie (11) 22: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (1) 23: Sevu Reece (20)




1: James Slipper (c) (122) 2: David Porecki (6) 3: Allan Alaalatoa (59) 4: Jed Holloway (5) 5: Cadeyrn Neville (2) 6: Rob Valetini (26) 7: Pete Samu (27) 8: Harry Wilson (11) 9: Jake Gordon (15) 10: Bernard Foley (72) 11: Marika Koroibete (50) 12: Lalakai Foketi (3) 13: Len Ikitau (19) 14: Tom Wright (17) 15: Andrew Kellaway (17)


RESERVES: 16: Folau Fainga’a (32) 17: Angus Bell (19) 18: Pone Fa’amausili (2) 19: Nick Frost (4) 20: Fraser McReight (7) 21: Nic White (55) 22: Reece Hodge (59) 23: Jordan Petaia (21)

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Re-jigged loose forward combination up for the challenge



A changed All Blacks loose forward combination of Dalton Papali’i, Akira Ioane, and Ardie Savea will seek to regain lost ground to Australia in that part of their game in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship finale at Eden Park on Saturday.

Ioane said Australia’s loose forwards were impressive in Melbourne and as a changed New Zealand combination, they had to focus on doing their job for the All Blacks. If magic moments happened, hopefully, they were on the right side of them.


By doing their job, Ioane and Papali’i would allow returning No8 Savea to play in the manner that made him so dangerous.


“I’m looking forward to what we can do on Saturday night,” Papali’i said.


The All Blacks were leaving no stone unturned in their preparation as they expected a strong response from Australia to their 37-39 loss in Melbourne last week.


Ioane said it was always special to get a start in a Test, and he acknowledged how well Shannon Frizell and Scott Barrett [both injured] had been playing this season.


“You can’t be mad at the coaches for that. I’ve just got to take my opportunities this week, give my best for the team and do my job,” he said.


Papali’i offered a forward’s perspective on the development of midfield replacement Roger Tuivasa-Sheck this year.



He had grown massively in the All Blacks environment and was a sponge from the time he joined the side, soaking up all the players had to give and share.


“Now he’s at the stage where he’s helping us out with things with his ideas and pointers to make us better.”


Tuivasa-Sheck had adopted a team-first attitude, and if he wasn’t in a team, he set about doing his bit to have the 23 named players ready for game-day action, he said.


The losses the All Blacks have suffered in 2022 had been something of a blessing in disguise from Papali’i’s point of view. They came into a team with a winning mentality but having losses this year was something new for the younger players to cope with, something those players, and New Zealand fans, were not used to.


“It’s us finding our feet again with a lot of new blood coming in and some boys getting more opportunities. I think it’s more of a wake-up call. This is Test footy. This is the best of the best, and you can’t leave any stone unturned training-wise.


“You’ve got to nail your one and two percenters off field leading into games and that is where it all matters. I think it has been a good learning curve for us.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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