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Sunday, November 02, 2008

New Zealand beat Australia in Hong Kong

New Zealand beat Australia in Hong Kong

The All Blacks and Wallabies met in Hong Kong on Saturday for a historic first ever Bledisloe Cup match held outside of Australasia. The All Blacks came from behind to win the game 19-14 and retain the Bledisloe Cup, making it 3-1 to New Zealand for this years game's between the two arch rivals.

The match in Hong Kong was by all means a success, with the fantastic stadium packed with locals and travellers alike, the game is said to have generated over 5.5m.

There is now talk of further meetings between the two sides taking place abroad, with both the United States and Japan being prime candidates for hosting the fixtures.

Australia rugby boss John O'Neill said: "We have got a formal proposal from Denver to host the Cup next year.

"We are also talking to the Japanese about the possibility of holding the game in 2010 in Tokyo."

New Zealand are now in good stead after Saturday's victory ahead of their Grand Slam tour of the UK. They will play Scotland, Ireland, Munster, Wales and England.

"It sets us up well for this tour. Hopefully we can keep progressing as the tour goes on. It's been a good week and we'll look to next week now," said Dan Carter, who played at inside center on the day.

"It's always a tough challenge, doing the Grand Slam. Often you have to grind out wins. We've done it on a couple of occasions now and it's good to know we've got that character within the side."

The next few weeks promise to provide a huge mental and physical challenge for the AB's, but one man who unfortunately won't be there to take part in the experience is hooker Andrew Hore. He picked up an ankle injury in the opening minutes in Hong Kong, and will now be replaced on tour by 22-year-old Hawke's Bay hooker Hikawera Elliot.

We've found some short highlights of the match for you, but would like to know what your thoughts are regarding the possibility of further Bledisloe Cup matches outside of Australia and New Zealand? Also, are the All Blacks good enough to achieve the Grand Slam this year, or is it far from a foregone conclusion?

Note: Apologies for the extra click to get to the video, but our hands are tied on this one.

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