Saturday, August 22, 2009
Dan Carter kicked a late penalty to take New Zealand into the lead and secure their 19-18 Tri Nations win over Australia in Sydney, retaining the Bledisloe Cup.
Trailing 12-3 at half time, the All Blacks came back to score the only try of a fiercely contested match, keeping their hopes alive of contesting the Tri Nations, but effectively destroying the Wallabies hopes for this years tournament.
Maa Nonu scored for the ABs 16 minutes from the end as they came back strongly in the second half, dominating territory and possession, with two tries being disallowed.
Dan Carter was, as expected, vital to the All Blacks as he proved the difference with his calming influence and quality goal kicking.
He is now just 12 points away from Andrew Mehrtens Tri Nations points scoring record of 338.
Australian flyhalf Matt Giteau kicked all of their points, with six penalties from six attempts, but they struggled to create a try to keep them ahead.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry was proud of his players after the tight and tense win.
"I was just very proud of the character shown by the players tonight," Henry told a press conference.
"It was just mental toughness, because we didn't get the roll of the dice.
"The Australians are a very good side and they really stretched us tonight and there was just a feeling of pride after the game for what the guys achieved.
"Our guys showed a huge amount of intestinal fortitude. It just shows the guys have got the guts to hang in and keep going."
"You've just got to keep believing," All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said.
"That was a hell of a test match, we really had to dig deep for that. There were times at the end when we let them back in but that's what test rugby is all about."