The All Blacks came back from an early deficit to record a hard fought win at Eden Park and deny the Wallabies a first victory there since 1986.
Australia had the best of starts as Berrick Barnes went over on 5 minutes and Matt Giteau converted 0-7. 10 minutes and a penalty for not rolling away was posted by Giteau 0-10. The Kiwis having problems with their lineout started to get into the game and on 12 minutes Stephen Donald missed an opportunity to reduce the lead with a missed penalty. He made no mistake on 14 minutes 3-10. Giteau restored the 10 point margin on 21 minutes only for Richie McCaw to get the All Blacks close with a try on 27 minutes converted by Donald 10-13. Both Giteau on 29 and Donald on 32 missed penalty kicks at goal and so we went in to half-time with the score at 10-13.
The momentum had been swinging towards the All Blacks and this continued in the second half, with the wind and within a minute of the off the scores were tied at 13-13 following a Donald penalty. The Kiwis then took the lead for the first time as Donald converted a penalty for crossing, 16-13 and 45 minutes. Giteau brought the teams level a minutes later with a penalty 16-16. The next 15 minutes had both sides trying for the killer but being cancelled out by resilient defence, thus it was another Donald penalty on 61 minutes that stretched the Blacks lead to 19-16. Giteau missed a chance to reduce the arrears on 63 minutes and so it was left to Donald to kick the last points on 73 minutes and produce the final score of:
Holders New Zealand recovered from an early deficit to open the defence of their Tri-Nations crown with a hard-earned win over Australia in Auckland.
New Zealand 22-16 Australia
Try: McCaw Con: Donald Pens: Donald 5
Try Barnes Con: Giteau Pens: Giteau 3
New Zealand: Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Stephen Donald, Jimmy Cowan, Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore, Neemia Tialata, Brad Thorn, Isaac Ross, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (capt), Rodney So’oialo.
Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Jason Eaton, Kieran Read, Piri Weepu, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko.
Australia: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Lachie Turner, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell, Matt Giteau, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, George Smith, Richard Brown, Nathan Sharpe, James Horwill, Al Baxter, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.
Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ben Alexander, Dean Mumm, Phil Waugh, David Pocock, Will Genia, James O’Connor.