19 Jul 2009

All Blacks win maintains Wallabies' Eden Park hoodoo

1:29 am on 19 July 2009

The All Blacks head for South Africa with their confidence enhanced by a 22-16 win over Australia in Auckland at the start of their Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup campaign.

The win, which extends their unbeaten run against the Wallabies at Eden Park to 24 years, was hard fought , with each side a scoring a try in the first half of a tense test the Wallabies could easily have won.

Poor All Black defence gifted Berrick Barnes a try in the fourth minute but the midfielder later butchered a chance to put the Wallabies into a commanding lead by throwing a bad pass to test centurion George Smith with the line open.

It took 25 minutes for the All Blacks to get inside the Wallabies 22 and they quickly closed the gap

when centre Conrad Smith slipped a pass to Richie McCaw.

The captain's try and Stephen Donald's conversion saw the All Blacks trailing 10-13 at half-time and with a strong sou wester at their back they enjoyed a territorial advantage.

That enabled Donald to quickly equalise then put the All Blacks ahead with his third penalty before Matt Gitteau's third saw the Wallabies level at 16-all,

But with the Wallabies under increasing pressure, breakdown infringments enabled Donald to land the match winning penalties and finish with 17 points.