The Australian Wallabies have triumphed in the 2011 Tri-Nations tournament. In the end the difference was an away win against the Springboks, with both New Zealand and Australia winning their home games.
In a winner-take-all test in Brisbane and Saturday, the Wallabies showed more passion, guile and composure than the All Blacks. This led to a stunning 20-3 halftime lead. However, the All Blacks came back with an equally stunning seventeen points to draw the scores equal with 15 minutes to play. In the end it was some Will Genia magic that saw him wrong foot a couple of front rowers on his way to an unconverted try, leaving the final score at 25-20.
Early in the first half the Wallabies were taking the game to the All Blacks even before the All Blacks lost key player, number 8 to Kieran Reid to injury. An ankle sprain to Read has put the influential All Black’s World Cup hopes in danger. At around the same time fellow loose forward Adam Thomson hyper-extended his elbow. However, he carried on playin until it likely lead to an impressive individual try to Radike Samo when Thomson fell off the tackle and Samo ran half the field to score. Thomson’s injury is looking even more ominous to his World Cup chances than Read’s. The All Blacks had to play the rest of the match with lock Sam Whitelock at number 6.
The Wallabies’ backs looked dangerous whenever they had the ball, and the forwards look to be inspired under the new leadership of James Horwill. The All Blacks will be concerned over the number of mistakes their players made. They will be particularly concerned over the poor game of winger Zac Guilford. However, the All Black coaches will take some satisfaction from the All Blacks’ second half comeback.
Quade Cooper and Richie McCaw continued their rivalry, engaging in a number of scuffles off the ball. The SANZAR judiciary has let off Cooper from a particularly nasty knee to the head of McCaw, which Cooper claimed was an accident.
It has been 10 years since the Wallabies won the Tri-Nations and the victory is a vital confidence boost heading into the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The All Blacks now go into their home tournament with back to back losses, the first time they have ever done so leading into a World Cup.
Wallabies 25 v All Blacks 20:
Tries: Will Genia, Radike Samo, Kurtley Beale
Cons: Quade Cooper 2
Pens: Quade Cooper 2
Tries: Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu
Cons: Dan Carter 2
Pens: Dan Carter 2