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  Saturday, 1 September, 2001, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Fitting farewell for Eales
The Wallaby team celebrates Tri-Nations victory
Eales paid testament to his fighting team-mates
There could have been no more fitting finale for Australian captain John Eales.

His dogged Australian team bounced back after a tremendous New Zealand fight-back to win the Tri-Nations decider 29-26 in Sydney.

"It's great to go out with a win," said an emotional Eales afterwards.

"I guess I'll have to buy Toutai Kefu a beer for that," he said of the last-minute winning try scorer.

John Eales celebrates Australia's victory
Eales takes the plaudits
"When you lose, you usually get a chance to make up for it a week later but I'm going into the longest off-season of my life so I was desperate to win this one."

Ever the perfectionist, Eales was critical of aspects of the Australian display.

"We didn't play particularly well in the first 20 minutes of the second half but apart from that it was a reasonable performance.

"It was a close game and it could have gone either way but we kept our composure at the end.

"We have a lot of cool heads in this team and we thought that if we just stuck to our game plan and kept the pressure up then we could score."


We're grateful for the legacy he's left. The result tonight is very much a reflection of what he's achieved for Australian rugby
Eddie Jones
Wallaby coach Eddie Jones praised his team's coolness under pressure.

"As a team we're not happy with our performance even though we're happy with the result," Jones said.

"I think when we got to 19-6 the guys subconsciously started thinking we'd won and what would happen after and it shows the character of this team that we were able to come back."

He added that there would be a "vacuum" in the team without Eales.

Kiwi woe

"We're grateful for the legacy he's left. The result tonight is very much a reflection of what he's achieved for Australian rugby."

All Black captain Anton Oliver accused his team of making too many basic errors at vital times.

"I certainly felt like we played enough rugby to win it.

"We created holes and opportunities but until we can eliminate our error rate, we won't win."

Kiwi coach Wayne Smith agreed: "We should have won tonight. There's a fine line between these teams but under pressure they're certainly a little bit better than us.


Australia's triumph

Match results

Giffin's view

Background

RESULTS & FIXTURES

CLICKABLE GUIDE

SPORTSTALK

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