Rugby Championship: New Zealand edge Australia in Bledisloe Cup thriller

New Zealand needed a last-minute try from Beauden Barrett to beat Australia 35-29 in the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks win means they have won the Bledisloe Cup after beating Australia 54-34 last week.

Australia had taken a one-point lead in the 77th minute when Kurtley Beale jinked through the All Blacks defence to set up a grandstand finish but New Zealand gained possession from their own kick-off and Barrett crossed after a good passing move.

Tries from Israel Folau, Michael Hooper and Brendan Foley put the Wallabies into a 17-0 lead after just 15 minutes but Rieko Ioane and Aaron Smith scored to make it a three-point game at half time.

Foley’s kicking was severely under par, hitting just one conversion out of three in the first half. His poor form continued in the second half, hitting the uprights twice.

New Zealand took the lead for the first time on the hour mark through Barrett but Will Genia restored Australia’s lead seven minutes later.

Australia’s defence held firm for most of the second half. Two possible New Zealand tries were ruled out by the TMO but Ben Smith finally broke Australia in with nine minutes remaining.

The Dunedin crowd were all expecting a wonderful finish to the Test match and that’s exactly what happened when Beale’s converted try gave Australia a 29-28 lead.

They needed to hold on for three minutes but Kieran Read won the ball from the kick off to start the All Blacks attack. The ball eventually came to Barrett who crossed the line to secure New Zealand a thrilling victory.

Cover Photo: Rugby World Cup 2011 New Zealand France finale by Jean Francois Fournier Photographe used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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