The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup clash between Australia and New Zealand kicks off in a rare midweek fixture at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
This will be the first time a Rugby Championship Test match will take place out of the regular weekend time slot as the trans-Tasman rivals go head-to-head for both trophies.
The trans-Tasman rivals have, however, played a mid-week Bledisloe Cup Test before. Australia beat New Zealand 20-16 on a Wednesday night at the Sydney Football Stadium back in 1994.
The match is famous for George Gregan’s last-ditch tackle on Jeff Wilson, late in the game, to seal a famous victory down under.
- The All Blacks have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003 (19 years), if the Kiwis win in Melbourne, they will retain the famous trophy for a 20th year.
- New Zealand has won 16 of their last 20 Test matches against Australia (D1 L3), including their last three on the bounce; moreover, their 16 wins have come by an average margin of 24 points per game.
- Australia has won three of their last six Test matches against New Zealand on home turf, which is more than they had won in their 13 home Tests against the All Blacks previously (W2 D2 L9).
- The Aussies will be out to avoid back-to-back trans-Tasman defeats for the first time since August 2017.
- Australia has won the opening game of the Bledisloe Cup only twice in the last 13 years; however, they’ve picked up a win and a draw across the last three years, including a 47-26 win when they last hosted the opening game of the Cup.
- The Wallabies have lost three of their last four Test matches played in Australia (W1) after losing only two of their previous 12 home Tests (W8 D2).
- Australia lost three of their last four Tests in Melbourne after winning 10 of their previous 11 in Victoria.
- New Zealand has lost four of their seven Tests in 2022; the last time they lost more in a calendar year was in 1998 when they lost five.
- The only other occurrence of the All Blacks losing more than four times in a year came in 1949 (6 losses).
2022 Rugby Championship stats:
- Australia has an 88% goal-kicking success rate, the highest of any team in the tournament – New Zealand (79%).
- The All Blacks have made 42 carries in which they’ve attracted three or more tacklers, the most of any team in the competition and 15 more than next-best Australia (27).
- The Kiwis have crossed the gainline on 60% of their carries, the highest percentage of any team in the tournament – Australia (52%).
- James Slipper has conceded 11 penalties, four more than any other player in the competition.
- Rieko Ioane has been directly involved in 13 tries in 12 Tests against Australia (nine tries, four assists).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
We had an impeccably observed moment of silence for the late Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away last week.
The anthems are done and dusted, the Haka was performed with the Kiwis’ usual vigour.
PEEEP! We are underway under the roof at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne for Bledisloe One. A win for the All Blacks will put the Kiwis in a prime position to win the Rugby Championship as well as retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 20th year running.
2.00: The All Blacks kick their first penalty to the corner instead of taking the points. Sam Cane wants to make a statement.
3.00: Ethan de Groot is held up over the line, but the Kiwis had a penalty advantage. Cane goes to touch again.
4.00: TRY! Referee Matthieu Raynal awards the try after a powerful driving maul sees Samisoni Taukei’aho crash over the line for the game’s opening points. 0-5
5.00: CONVERSION! Richie Mo’unga slots the touchline kick. 0-7
7.00: Bernard Foley’s mistake does not cost his side after the visitors knock on after the advantage ended. The hosts have dropped two high balls already.
8.00: James Slipper is pinged for driving up at the first scrum of the game. Cane, this time, opts for the points.
9.00: MISS! Jordie Barrett pulls his kick wide; that is a let-off for Australia. 0-7
10.00: Slipper is caught offsides at the ruck, this time Mo’unga calls for the tee. The kick is about 42 metres out but in front of the poles.
12.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga splits the posts. 0-10
14.00: Len Ikitau is isolated at the ruck to concede his side’s fifth penalty of the game.
16.00: Rob Leota steals possession at the breakdown to give his team some respite.
17.00: Tom Wright’s angled run and linebreak lead to a home team penalty in front of the sticks. Foley will take a shot.
18.00: PENALTY! Foley can’t miss that. 3-10
21.00: NO TRY! Andrew Kellaway finishes off a nine-phase attack, but the TMO gets involved and the replay shows that the fullback did not ground the ball. Rieko Ioane managed to turn Kellaway in the tackle before Mo’unga helped keep the ball off the ground. That is poor from the Wallaby, he should have dived over before the cover defenders got to make the tackle.
25.00: Back-to-back penalties lead to Foley kicking to the corner. Slipper knows the momentum is with his charges, so go for gold.
26.00: TRY! Rob Valetini, the enforcer, crashes through Ethan de Groot and Sam Whitelock to score from close range. 8-10
26.00: YELLOW CARD! Dalton Papali’i is off for a cynical play in the build-up to the try. 8-10
27.00: CONVERSION! Foley levels. 10-10
29.00: Jordie Barrett is held up in the tackle for a Wallabies’ scrum outside their 22.
30.00: The visitors get out of jail after Pete Samu’s linebreak from near his 22 ends with Mo’unga clearing to touch. Samu sped away 50 metres down the field before Foley’s kick was claimed by Caleb Clarke, under pressure from Koroibete.
31.00: Andrew Kellaway knocks on in contact as the Wallabies entered the Kiwis’ 22.
34.00: Australia won a scrum penalty on the opposition’s 22, and Slipper went for the corner instead of taking the shot at goal. It proved costly as the Kiwis defended for 15 phases before winning a relieving penalty on their goal line after Holloway got isolated.
36.00: YELLOW CARD! Tom Wright is off for not releasing Clarke in the tackle and slowing the ball down. 10-10
36.00: YELLOW CARD! Darcy Swain is also off for a dangerous cleanout at the ruck on Quinn Tupaea. 10-10
37.00: NO TRY! Taukei’aho breaks off the driving maul and runs over Jake Gordon, but the hooker lost the ball as he tried to score. 10-10
39.00: Ioane and Beauden Barrett botch a two-on-one overlap when the centre’s poor pass got knocked on by Barrett.
41.00: The Aussies escape to the sheds with no further damage.
The halftime score was Wallabies 10 All Blacks 10
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway.
41.00: TRY! The All Blacks won a turnover from a counter-ruck. Aaron Smith sent the ball wide to Ethan De Groot at first receiver. De Groot played Brodie Retallick, who drew the defender before sending the hooker through a hole. Taukei’aho cut inside two defenders, straightened, and made a bee-line for the try line, carrying three defenders over the chalk for his second score of the match. 10-15
43.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga adds the extras. 10-17
46.00: Will Jordan does not release the ball, which allows Foley a shot at goal.
48.00: PENALTY! Foley makes no mistake. 13-17
51.00: YELLOW CARD! Jake Gordon is sent to the bin for collapsing the maul, it seemed harsh. 13-17
52.00: TRY! Mo’unga scythed his way through a massive hole before crashing over next to the posts. Game over! 13-22
53.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 13-24
55.00: TRY! Jordan claims Beauden Barrett’s deft chip-kick and races half the field to score his 20th Test try. 13-29
56.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 13-31
58.00: Foley boots the ball to the opposition’s 22.
60.00: Nothing came of the attack.
62.00: TRY! Foley shakes off two defenders before popping to Kellaway, who races away to score. 18-31
62.00: CONVERSION! Foley adds two more. 20-31
64.00: The Aussies are fighting here, they need to score soon though.
67.00: TRY! The Wallabies score from a wonderful backline move involving Foley and Kellaway again. Foley’s long cut-out pass gives Kellaway the space to beat Mo’unga and Ioane to the try line. Sensational. 25-31
68.00: CONVERSION! Foley lands another two. 27-31
71.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga extends the lead. 27-34
72.00: TRY! Pete Samu slipped Jordan’s tackle before playing a one-two with Marika Koroibete to score his third Test try. 32-34
74.00: CONVERSION! Foley, the ICE MAN, levels from the touchline. 34-34
76.00: Valetini wins a penalty turnover after making a big tackle. Nic White will take a shot at goal from the halfway line.
78.00: PENALTY! Nic White you beauty! 37-34
78.00: New Zealand wins a penalty, and they kick to touch.
79.00: Lalakai Foketi wins a penalty near his goal line to allow the Wallabies time to breathe.
79.00: The ref wards a scandalous free-kick to the visitors for time-wasting by White. What is that?
81.00: TRY! Jordie Barrett wins the game at the death. 37-39
82.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 37-39
The final score is Australia 37 (10) and New Zealand 39 (10)
Tries – Valetini, Kellaway (2), Samu
Pen – Foley (2), White
Con – Foley (4)
Cards – Wright (Yellow, 36′), Swain (Yellow, 36′), Gordon (Yellow, 51′)
Tries – Taukei’aho (2), Mo’unga, Jordan, J. Barrett
Pen – Mo’unga (2)
Con – Mo’unga (4)
Cards – Papali’i (Yellow, 26′)
Referee: Matthieu Raynal [FRA]
Assistant Ref 1: Andrew Brace [IRE]
Assistant Ref 2: Pierre Brousset [FRA]
TMO: Ben Whitehouse [WAL]
15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Pete Samu, 6 Rob Leota, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (captain)
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Nic White, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Ethan de Groot
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea