New Zealand took a big step closer to a 10th Tri-Nations title after a hard-fought win over Australia in Christchurch. Although Australia had the majority of possession and territory it was the All Blacks who opened the scoring through Mils Muliainas early try, but Kurtley Beales solo effort levelled it. Conrad Smith restored the All Blacks advantage and with Carter converting both from out wide and then slotting a penalty to one from Giteau the sides went into half-time with New Zealand leading 17-10.
The second period and the Blacks closed up their game, with percentage kicks into space or into touch pegging the Wallabies back. The Wallabies with the majority of possession seemed fixated with playing one up rugby and thus could not breakdown the solid Blacks defence. Giving us a fascinating if try-less half with the Kiwis making at least twice as many tackles. The only points of the half came from the boot of Dan Carter to give us the final score of:
New Zealand 20-10 Australia
Tries: Muliaina, Smith Cons: Carter (2) Pens: Carter
Tries: Beale Cons: Giteau Pens: Giteau
New Zealand: M Muliaina; C Jane, C Smith, M Nonu, J Rokocoko; D Carter, P Weepu; T Woodcock, K Mealamu, O Franks, B Thorn, T Donnelly, J Kaino, R McCaw (captain), K Read.
Replacements: C Flynn, B Franks, S Whitelock, V Vito, A Mathewson, A Cruden, B Stanley.
Australia: K Beale; J O’Connor, A Ashley-Cooper, A Faingaa, D Mitchell; M Giteau, W Genia; B Robinson, S Faingaa, S Ma’afu, D Mumm, N Sharpe, R Elsom (captain), D Pocock, R Brown.
Replacements: S Moore, J Slipper, R Simmons, M Hodgson, L Burgess, B Barnes, C Shepherd.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Next match South Africa v New Zealand Johannesburg Sat 21 15:30 BST Live SkySports 4