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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Classic Encounters - Wallabies vs All Blacks 2000

Classic Encounters -  Wallabies vs All Blacks 2000

In front of a World Record attendance of 109,874 fans in July 2000, Stadium Australia witnessed one of the greatest games of rugby to ever be played.

The All Blacks vs the Wallabies in Bledisloe One will forever be remembered for the epic nature of a contest that was an incredible advert for rugby. It was a thrilling game that went back and forward until literally the last minute, and beyond.

New Zealand got off to a fyling start with stars like Christian Cullen, Jonah Lomu and Tana Umaga terrorizing the Aussies with some quickfire tries, taking the score to 24-0 after 6 minutes.

Australia staged a remarkable come back though thanks in part to two Stirling Mortlock tries and by half time the scores were equal at 24-24.

After the break the Aussies took the lead with a penalty, before Justin Marshall scored a brilliant individual effort that knocked the wind out of the rejuvenated Aussies' sails.

When Jeremy Paul scored for the Wallabies with time almost up, it looked like they had pulled off a memorable comeback that the record home crowd would celebrate for years to come. It looked as though the game would end 35-34, with the courageous Wallabies coming out on top.

Superstar Jonah Lomu put a dampener on the Australian celebrations though, scoring a dramatic late try that came from an excellent pass over the top by Taine Randell. The big man got the space he needed and brushed off flyhalf Stephen Larkham's attempted tackle with ease, going over to clinch victory and see his team finish off what they started in the first 6 minutes of the game.

One of the games of the century, this Tri Nations classic will be remembered for years to come as a fiercely contested battle that went back and forth for the full 82 mins.

Final Score: 39-35 to New Zealand


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