Wallabies 'certainly not celebrating' after breathtaking Bledisloe stalemate

By Sports Desk October 11, 2020

Australia head coach Dave Rennie said the Wallabies are disappointed after coming within a whisker of snapping their New Zealand hoodoo as the Bledisloe Cup opener ended in a dramatic 16-16 draw.

Reece Hodge had the chance to secure Australia's first win in New Zealand in 19 years and first in Wellington since 2000, but the replacement back's monster kick from inside his own half hit the post in additional time on Sunday.

The Wallabies ushered in a new era under Rennie – overseeing his first match in charge since replacing Michael Cheika, just like All Blacks counterpart Ian Foster – rallying through second-half tries from Marika Koroibete and debutant Filipo Daugunu, having trailed 13-3 to Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane five-pointers.

And Hodge almost snatched an incredible victory in the 83rd minute after the full-time siren sounded, however, his long-range kick cannoned off the woodwork in wet conditions at Sky Stadium, where James O'Connor eventually kicked the ball out of touch following nine thrilling extra minutes.

"We're disappointed," Rennie told reporters in his post-match news conference. "We're certainly not celebrating in the changerooms.

"We had our chances. I thought we played with a lot of courage."

"We let ourselves down," added Rennie, addressing the breakdown, though the Wallabies won nine turnovers – only the second time in the last decade they have won more in a Test against the All Blacks.

"We found a lot of space in behind them, we had a lot of ball but the quality of our cleanout just wasn't good enough and it's area we need to be better next week. We gave away 14 penalties and a big chunk of those were post-tackle."

"I'm really proud. We were under the pump early," Rennie said. "I thought we defended well for big chunks of the game, we were able to apply pressure through our kick game and scored a couple of good tries at important times.

"We had our chance right at the death, one off the post and then setting up of a drop goal and we ended up going wider. They put you through it!

"The quality of our clean out wasn't good enough and they were able to stifle a lot of ball. We knew the collision area was going to be important and they won that battle."

Both Australia and hosts New Zealand were playing for the first time in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a strong crowd in attendance to watch the first of four Bledisloe Cup fixtures.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper made his 100th Test appearance – becoming just the 12th different player to reach the century mark for Australia – and his 47th as skipper.

Hooper led from the front as the Wallabies impressed against their trans-Tasman rivals, after trailing 8-3 at half-time, with Koroibete and Daugunu crossing over, with the latter becoming just the fourth Australia player since the beginning of this century to score a try when their career Test debut has been against the All Blacks, per Opta.

O'Connor and Barrett traded penalties at the death, after Australia had led with 90 seconds remaining, setting up a grandstand finish.

"It was a good start to our year. We haven’t been together for almost a year," said Hooper.

"We've got a new group here and a few debutants tonight. I’m very proud of our team, they fought all the way through. Man, it was close … a kick off the post … but we go again next weekend and hopefully we’re up to the challenge."

Related items

  • Darren Bravo says Red Force captaincy aided in his development, maturity Darren Bravo says Red Force captaincy aided in his development, maturity

    West Indies batsman Darren Bravo believes that being appointed captain of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in January aided in his development and his maturity as a cricketer.

  • Watson and Cowan-Dickie return to England squad for Wales clash Watson and Cowan-Dickie return to England squad for Wales clash

    Anthony Watson and Luke Cowan-Dickie have returned to the England squad for the Autumn Nations Cup clash with Wales on Saturday after recovering from injury. 

    Bath back Watson sustained an ankle injury in the Six Nations win over Italy last month, while Exeter Chiefs hooker Cowan-Dickie is back to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery. 

    Wasps fly-half Jacob Umaga and Northampton full-back George Furbank, meanwhile, have withdrawn from the 35-man squad due to injury.

    Eddie Jones' side beat Ireland 18-7 on Sunday and another victory in Llanelli on Saturday will see them compete against the winners of Group B on December 6 to decide who lifts the trophy.

     

    England squad:

    Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell (captain), George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Jonny May, Alex Mitchell, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

    Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, David Ribbans, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Jack Willis.

  • Scotland 15-22 France: Les Bleus earn Six Nations revenge at Murrayfield Scotland 15-22 France: Les Bleus earn Six Nations revenge at Murrayfield

    France gained a measure of revenge for their Six Nations defeat to Scotland by earning a hard-fought 22-15 triumph in Sunday's Autumn Nations Cup fixture at Murrayfield.

    Defeat in the Scottish capital back in March denied a formidable Les Bleus side a Grand Slam and ultimately the title as they finished second behind England on points difference.

    But a gutsy defensive effort from a Scotland side aiming to win a sixth straight match was not enough to deny France this time around.

    The excellent Virimi Vakatawa scored the game's only try and Thomas Ramos kicked 14 points for a France team now favourites to finish top of Group A.

    France's reward for a sprightly start was a couple of Ramos penalties, the second brought back for offside after Vakatawa was ruled not in control of the ball when trying to ground for a try following a footrace to the corner.

    But it was soon Scotland's turn to apply the pressure at the breakdown with Duncan Weir nailing a pair of kicks to level things up.

    A Matthieu Jalibert drop-goal and a Ramos penalty were answered each time by Weir, who nailed a 42-metre effort to tie the game again, while expert defence withstood French pressure at the line just before half-time.

    For all Scotland's fine work in defence it was a simple move off a scrum that allowed Vincent Rattez to come in off the wing and free Vakatawa to score despite a valiant effort from Stuart Hogg shortly after the restart.

    Scotland replied quickly with a Weir penalty but another three-pointer from Ramos – shortly after Gael Fickou was denied on the left flank – kept the hosts at bay.

    The hosts had one last chance to snatch something with a penalty after the allotted time but Hogg wastefully kicked the ball dead to bring the final whistle.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.