Australia bounce back with 24-22 win over New Zealand

Reece Hodge kicked 14 points for Australia
Reece Hodge kicked 14 points for Australia

Australia 24-22 New Zealand, Suncorp Stadium

Australia managed to bounce back from the defeat in the opening round of the Rugby Championship as they edged out New Zealand 24-22 in the second game at Suncorp Stadium.

The All Blacks still hold the top position with six points while Australia have opened their tally with four points. The game also saw both the teams play with 14 players after New Zealand lost Ofa Tu'ungafasi to red-card in the 23rd minute while Dave Rennie's side saw Lachlan Swinton sent-off in the 35th minute.

New Zealand had a late change after Patrick Tuipulotu was replaced on the bench by Tupou Vaa'i due to illness.

Test debutant Tom Wright started the proceedings for the Wallabies after capitalising on a chip kick from Reece Hodge to score in the third minute. It took New Zealand just two minutes to respond as Reiko Ioane gathered on a loose ball to cross over.

Hodge seized the lead once again for the Wallabies with his maiden penalty goal in the 21st minute making the scoreline 8-5.

New Zealand were down to 14-man in the 23rd minute with Tu'ungafasi sent-off for an illegal hit on Wright but despite the setback the visitors levelled the scores with a three-pointer from Jordie Barrett in the 33rd minute.

Australia surrendered their advantage as Lachlan Swinton was sent-off in the 35th minute for a dangerous tackle on Sam Whitelock and at the stroke of half-time Marika Koroibete was yellow carded for playing the ball on the ground. The opening half ended with both teams levelled at 8-8.

Hoge with his second penalty kick in the 50th minute put Australia into a 11-8 lead but it was short lived as Codie Taylor went over the line followed by Jordie conversion making it 11-15. The home side reduced the gap down to one point with another three-pointer from Hodge in the 59th minute.

The game entered the final quarter with Ian Foster's men leading 14-15 but another infringement costed them dearly as Scott Barrett was sin-binned in the 68th minute for slapping the ball from Nic White's hand and in the next 10 minutes, Taniela Tupou crossed the whitewash with Hodge kicking a conversion and a penalty on either side to make it 24-15.

Even though New Zealand gave a late scare through Tupou Vaa'i's try in the 79th minute followed by Jordie's conversion, they eventually went on to lose the encounter by two points.