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Page last updated at 10:49 GMT, Saturday, 30 October 2010 11:49 UK

Australia 26-24 New Zealand

Australia (12) 26
Tries: Cooper, Ashley-Cooper, Mitchell, O'Connor Cons: Giteau, O'Connor 2
New Zealand: (17) 24
Tries: Cowan, Jane, Nonu Cons: Carter 3 Pens: Carter

James O'Connor
O'Connor goes over for his equalising try

James O'Connor converted his own injury-time try to secure victory for Australia and end a 10-match losing streak against the All Blacks.

Tries by Quade Cooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper put Australia in front but Jimmy Cowan and Corey Jane replied to give the All Blacks a 17-12 half-time lead.

Ma'a Nonu extended the lead but a Drew Mitchell try kept Australia in touch.

O'Connor powered over to level and the 20-year-old held his composure to kick the extras and seal a stunning win.

"I still can't believe it, it's a pretty surreal moment," reflected O'Connor, who was mobbed by his ecstatic team-mates on the final whistle in Hong Kong.

"They're the things that you dream about when you're a kid. It's a dream come true."

A disappointed All Blacks coach Graham Henry rued his side's lapses but conceded his opponents had "played particularly well".

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"They kept the ball and we gave away a few penalties which made it difficult for us," said Henry. "The Australians played some really good football and it was a great spectacle, I would imagine."

The Wallabies put the All Blacks on the back-foot from the off but Kurtley Beale was twice wayward off the tee as six points went begging early on.

The Aussies elected to run their next penalty from only five metres out, and their adventure was rewarded when, after working the ball wide, fly-half Cooper went over for the lead. Matt Giteau took over kicking duties from Beale but could not add the extras.

New Zealand tried to respond and a Dan Carter penalty struck a post, while two minutes later he fired another goal attempt wide.

The Wallabies doubled their lead from a clinically executed midfield line-out phase - Ashley-Cooper hitting the line at pace, bursting through unusually meek resistance from Carter and Nonu before neatly stepping inside Cowan.

Giteau converted to make it 12-0 but the All Blacks' renaissance was soon under way.

New Zealand hooker Keven Mealamu charged over but could not get the ball down thanks to a brilliant last-ditch effort from Beale, whose knee thwarted the try.

However, from the resulting scrum, Joe Rokocoko recycled and Cowan burrowed over. Carter found his range with the conversion.

New Zealand maintained the pressure and when Jane collected out wide he barged over Beale with ease before running in to level the score and Carter's kick edged the All Blacks in front.

Giteau skewed another penalty wide, while at the other end, Carter landed a kick from 45 metres out to give his side a five-point half-time lead.

Giteau was again wayward off the boot after the restart, and the Wallabies were in trouble again when a Richie McCaw-instigated attack from halfway was eventually worked via Carter and Read to Nonu who raced through the outflanked Aussie defence.

Carter obliged with two more points to give his side a 12-point advantage, however, just when it looked like the All Blacks were running away with it, Australia hit back.

It's an important win for us at the start of what is going to be a tough block of rugby going to the northern hemisphere

Australia coach Robbie Deans

A sweeping Cooper pass found Beale who released to Mitchell to score a try and O'Connor took over from Giteau to kick a mammoth conversion from the touchline.

Replacement Stephen Donald had the chance to put his side more than a converted try beyond the Aussies.

But he missed his 30m attempt and moments later the All Blacks were defending desperately as they were bombarded by wave after wave of Aussie attack.

It seemed as if they had weathered the storm when they turned the ball over, but Donald failed to find touch with his clearance and Australia laid siege to the line once more - this time with success as Beale found O'Connor who dived over in the corner.

Young winger O'Connor admirably held his nerve to send over an exquisite kick from the touchline for a memorable triumph.

Both sides begin their European tours next Saturday, with the All Blacks taking on England at Twickenham and the Wallabies facing Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

"It's important for us at the start of what is going to be a tough block of rugby going to the northern hemisphere," said Australia coach Robbie Deans. "And the flight is a lot more pleasurable with a win than a loss. But that's all it is."


Australia: Beale, O'Connor, Ashley-Cooper, Giteau, Mitchell, Cooper, Genia, Robinson, Moore, Alexander, Chisholm, Sharpe, Elsom, Pocock, McCalman.
Replacements: Barnes for Giteau (64), Burgess for Genia (77), Slipper for Robinson (52), S. Faingaa for Moore (62), Mumm for Chisholm (73). Not Used: Brown, Turner.

New Zealand: Muliaina, Jane, Smith, Nonu, Rokocoko, Carter, Cowan, Woodcock, Mealamu, O. Franks, Thorn, Donnelly, Kaino, McCaw, Read.
Replacements: Toeava for Jane (52), Donald for Carter (60), Mathewson for Cowan (73), Afoa for O. Franks (60), Whitelock for Donnelly (66). Not Used: Elliot, Braid.

Attendance: 26,210

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)



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see also
BBC to screen autumn rugby Tests
26 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union
Moody poised for playing return
27 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union
Gatland's faith in Wales rookies
04 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Fitzgerald added to Ireland squad
25 Oct 10 |  Irish
Hodgson called up for Wilkinson
25 Oct 10 |  English
All Blacks pick Williams for tour
17 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union
Weepu ruled out of autumn Tests
16 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union


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