Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The 2009 Tri Nations series kicks off this weekend as the Wallabies travel to Auckland to see if they can beat the All Blacks there for the first time in 23 years. As a preview, we've pulled out footage from the 2001 thriller that was decided in the last minute by a now famous Toutai Kefu try.
Stadium Australia played host to an emotional evening as Australian rugby said goodbye to Michael Foley, Joe Roff, and legendary captain John Eales.
It turned out to he the perfect send off as this was the ultimate finale between the greatest of rivals, as winner took all in what was effectively a final of the Tri Nations.
Chris Latham got up high for the first try of the match as he soared above Jonah Lomu to collect a Stephen Larkham bomb before crashing over. Matt Burke was on fine kicking form, as he pushed the score up to 16-3 with four from four.
They resumed at 19-6 after halftime, but the All Blacks came back strong through a break by Pita Alatini, with Doug Howlett finishing off. Alatini and Lomu then combined, as the center flew over untouched for another great try.
It was a sensational comeback, with further penalties taking them up to a 26-19 lead. Australia got another penalty to take the score up to within four with less than a minute left on the clock.
From a lineout, it was Gregan to Larkham, who then backhanded it to the powerful Toutai Kefu who charged through the defense for a dramatic try in the dying seconds.
It was a fairytale win for the Wallabies and a perfect send off for their great leader John Eales, as the pulsating 29-26 win resulted in them successfully defending the Tri Nations.
"It's great to go out with a win," said an emotional Eales afterwards.
"I guess I'll have to buy Toutai Kefu a beer for that."