Australia beat New Zealand 24-22 in a fierce Tri-Nations Rugby Championship clash at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
The Wallabies edged the All Blacks despite being outscored three tries to two in the second Tri-Nations Test in Queensland.
After the embarrassing 43-5 defeat to the Kiwis last week, Dave Rennie’s charges found their mojo to continue their unbeaten Test run in Brisbane to seven, ending a run of four consecutive international defeats.
The performance this week was in stark contrast to last weekend’s record 38-point Bledisloe Cup III mauling in Sydney.
The hosts found some much-needed resilience if you are going to beat the three-time World Champions, while the visitors played with a reckless abandon that sometimes infects Kiwi teams.
This match had all the hallmarks of ‘turn up and win’ that seeps into the All Blacks mindset every now and then; most notably during the drawn British & Irish Lions series in 2017 – and it proved costly.
Michael Hooper captained the home team for the 50th time, nine behind Wallaby George Gregan (59), while Sam Whitelock and James Slipper both reached the century milestone for their countries.
Reece Hodge, picked at standoff, kicked four penalties and a conversion for 14 points.
The influential Tom Wright scored on debut, and Taniela Tupou crossed for the late winner, as Australia finally beat New Zealand in the fourth Bledisloe Cup match of the year to close out the series (2-1) with a win.
Rieko Ioane, Codie Taylor and late replacement Tupou Vaa’i dotted down for the visitors.
Jordie Barrett added a penalty and two conversions, but the fullback did hit the post after Ioane’s score, which made the difference.
This tans-Tasman match was ferocious, both teams were issued red cards for dangerous tackles in the opening stanza.
Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Lachie Swinton, on debut, both saw their night’s cut short after two reckless challenges.
Marika Koroibete, who was immense, received a yellow card on the stroke of halftime for team totting-up offences.
Scott Barrett got yellow carded in the 67th-minute as Australia looked to win the game.
The teams went into the change rooms level at 8-8 after a try and penalty apiece. Wright scored early on, while Rieko Ioane crossed for the Kiwis six minutes later.
Both kickers exchanged penalties and both missed their conversion attempts before another Hodge penalty sandwiched Taylor’s converted try.
Hodge kicked two more goals to make it 17-15 in the 70th-minute as the Aussies threatened a famous upset.
Tupou scored at the death to open up a two-score lead. Vaa’i crossed a minute before time, but the game was already lost.
Ian Foster’s men sit top of the Tri-Nations table with six points to Australia’s four; they play Argentina next week in Parramatta, Sydney.
Australia strikes early, but New Zealand hit back before the red card changes the momentum of the Test
Foster had named a largely second-string side while handing out four new caps. Rennie shuffled his pack, making positional changes as well as handing out a couple of new caps.
It showed in what was a scrappy, ill-disciplined contest marred by the four cards shown, which disrupted the game.
Wright opened the scoring with a 3rd-minute try on debut with his first touch in Test rugby.
Hodge put in a little chip over the top from a lineout, Tom Banks beat Jordie Barrett to the ball, gathered and offloaded to the winger to stroll in for the score.
Hodge missed the conversion. The Kiwis came right back, pinning their hosts inside their half with two 14-phase attacks.
The All Blacks’ first sustained attack ended when Tu’ungafasi knocked-on under pressure from the Aussie defenders. Australia cleared, but the visitors came roaring back.
The pressure was too much for the men in gold.
Rieko Ioane scored his 23rd Test try in 28 Tier One International Matches, 32 Test tries in 36 Tests.
The Kiwis went 14 phases again, sapping the Wallabies’ defence before the yellow wall ran out of numbers on the wing.
Wright jumped the line, trying to intercept a stray pass, but the ball was knocked into the path of Ioane to score.
Beauden Barrett, playing standoff for the first time this year in place of the rested Richie Mo’unga, hit the post with his conversion attempt.
Hodge kicked his team ahead before the Kiwis found themselves down to 14 men for the rest of the game.
Officials take control of the game, issuing two red card and yellow cards to each team
Tu’ungafasi hit Wright with a shoulder to the head (chin) after the winger tried to run out from his 22. The tighthead prop did not mean anything malicious by the tackle, but he was sent off.
Jordie Barrett levelled from distance before the officials took centre stage again.
Five minutes before halftime, Swinton joined Tu’ungafasi on the naughty step for the rest of the game after a high shot on Whitelock.
Just before the break, Codie Taylor should have scored from the driving maul, but he broke early before being stopped by the yellow wall.
The visitors were awarded another penalty because Koroibete went off his feet.
Another driving maul is on the cards. Another penalty, but the Australian forwards stole the lineout to go into the shed level at the interval.
Australia take control through the boot of Hodge and the visitors’ ill-discipline
Australia tried to slow down the game to get back to 14 apiece. The Wallabies’ scramble defence has been superb, halting every secondary Kiwis’ attack.
Rennie’s men regained the lead soon after the break after Hodge kicked his second penalty while down to 13 men.
New Zealand fought back though and had two attacks stymied by two forward passes. But the All Blacks have a ruthless streak.
As soon as Koroibete returned, his side conceded a sloppy penalty.
Sevu Reece went close after Beauden Barrett kick-started a wide attack, the Kiwis did, however, win a lineout on the Aussies’ try line.
Foster’s charges made amends for their poor execution of the driving maul at the end of the first half when Taylor flopped over the chalk 11 minutes after the restart.
Jordie Barrett converted to give his team a four-point lead.
The Wallabies’ pack won a scrum-penalty soon afterwards, and Hodge cut the deficit to one.
Hodge missed another shot at goal before Scott Barrett was carded for a ruck infringement.
This time the standoff made no mistake, putting the home team two points ahead with 10 minutes to play. Both Tupous found the try line in quick succession.
Tupou crashed over the whitewash with minutes remaining. Hodge landed the easy conversion to give his side breathing space.
Vaa’i scored next to the posts in the final minute, but the game was out of reach.
Final Score: Australia 24 (8) New Zealand 22 (8)
Tries – Wright, Tupou
Pen – Hodge (4)
Con – Hodge
Cards – Swinton (red, 35′), Koroibete (Yellow, 41′)
Tries – R. Ioane, Taylor, Vaa’i
Pen – J. Barrett
Con – J. Barrett (2)
Cards – Tu’ungafasi (Red, 23′), S. Barrett (Yellow, 68′)
Referee: Nic Berry (RA)
Assistant Ref 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Gardner (RA)
TMO: Paul Williams (NZR)
15 Tom Banks, 14 Tom Wright (debut), 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Nic White, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachie Swinton (debut), 5 Matt Philip, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Angus Bell (debut), 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Filipo Daugunu
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Akira Ioane (debut), 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua (debut), 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Cullen Grace (debut), 21 Brad Weber, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Will Jordan (debut)