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Australia 14-19 New Zealand

Australia (14) 14
Tries: Mitchell 2 Cons: Giteau 2

New Zealand (9) 19
Tries: Sivivatu, McCaw Pens: Carter 3

All Blacks wing Sitiveni Sivivatu takes on the Australia defence
Sitiveni Sivivatu scored one try and set up another for Richie McCaw

New Zealand recovered from a rusty first-half display to maintain their superiority over Australia in their Bledisloe Cup Test in Hong Kong.

The All Blacks, who win the 2008 Bledisloe Cup series 3-1, were 14-9 behind at the interval.

Australia full-back Drew Mitchell scored two tries but Dan Carter's three penalties kept the Kiwis in touch.

On the resumption, Sitiveni Sivivatu went over and created a try for Richie McCaw as the All Blacks prevailed.

The match, which was the first Bledisloe Cup Test to be held outside either New Zealand or Australia, struggled to catch fire as both sides battled with the slippery surface.

The All Blacks had taken the surprise option of shifting Dan Carter to inside centre and awarding Stephen Donald his first Test start at fly-half.

The experiment lasted just 50 minutes before All Blacks coach Graham Henry, with the scores level at 14-14, sent on Ma'a Nonu at inside centre and returned the conductors' baton to Carter.

None of the Australia squad had played any rugby since the 28-24 defeat to New Zealand in Brisbane on 13 September but it was the Wallabies who started the better of the two sides.

606: DEBATE
MP1

The All Blacks lost hooker Andrew Hore with an ankle injury after just five minutes and fell behind shortly afterwards following a slice of brilliance from Australia fly-half Matt Giteau.

He was tackled by All Blacks lock Brad Thorn but managed to flick a sublime blind pass out of the tackle for Mitchell, who was on his left shoulder and drove through two would-be tacklers to score under the posts.

New Zealand worked their way back into the game with two penalties from Carter but they were some way short of their fluid best, with Giteau comfortably winning the fly-half battle.

And when Ali Williams' ambitious one-handed pass went astray, Mitchell pounced again for Australia.

The All Blacks had the chance to snuff out the attack when the ball squirmed out the side of a ruck, after Mitchell had cut inside.

But Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore reacted first, the ball was driven to the line and quick hands from George Smith allowed Mitchell to score his second try in the corner.

Carter landed a penalty from half-way shortly before the interval and New Zealand then raced out of the blocks after the restart.

Deft handling created space for Sivivatu on the left wing and he raced over to level the scores.

The All Blacks then called time on the Donald experiment and McCaw picked up a floated pass from Sivivatu to put New Zealand ahead just after the hour mark with what proved to be the decisive score.

The All Blacks now head to Europe to play all four home nations, starting with Scotland next Saturday, while Australia have Tests against Italy, England, France and Wales.


Australia: Ashley-Cooper; Hynes, Cross, Mortlock, Mitchell; Giteau, Burgess; Robinson, Moore, Baxter, Chisholm, Sharpe, Mumm, Smith, Brown.

Replacements: Dunning for Baxter (73), Pocock for Smith (75).

Not Used: Freier, Waugh, Cordingley, Barnes, Turner.

New Zealand: Toeava; Gear, Smith, Carter, Sivivatu; Donald, Cowan; Woodcock, Hore, Tialata, Thorn, Williams, Kaino, McCaw, So'oialo.

Replacements: Mealamu for Hore (5), Jane for Toeava (75), Nonu for Donald (48), Weepu for Cowan (51), Somerville for Tialata (64), Boric for Thorn (64).

Not Used: Mealamu, Thomson.

Att: 39,000

Ref: Alan Lewis (Ireland).



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see also
Hore injury blow hits All Blacks
01 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
US & Japan may host Bledisloe Cup
31 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Zinzan Brooke column
28 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Seven new faces in NZ tour squad
25 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Boks pick home stars for GB tour
25 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Australia 24-28 New Zealand
13 Sep 08 |  Rugby Union


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