Australia earn 23-18 consolation win in final game of Bledisloe Cup

Reece Hodge was the Australian hero
Reece Hodge was the Australian hero
©PA

Australia 23-18 New Zealand, Suncorp Stadium
Scorecard

Reece Hodge contributed with 11 points as Australia came from behind to win the final game of the Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand 23-18 at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The All Blacks have already retained the Bledisloe Cup following their wins in the first two Tests that were counted in the Rugby Championship 2017 tournament. However, the win has ended a seven-match losing streak for the Wallabies against New Zealand which will add to their morale ahead of the November Tests.

Hodge scored an early try in the sixth minute to give a promising start to the Wallabies while Bernard Foley slotted the conversion. It took New Zealand just five more minutes to level the scores after winger Waisake Naholo went past the line allowing fly-half Lima Sopoaga to add the extras.

Sopoaga added two more penalties to increase New Zealand's lead to six points but Israel Folau's touchdown at the stroke of half time reduced the gap between the two teams to one point leading into the second half.

Marika Koroibete further extended Australia's advantage when he crossed over in the 56th minute and Hodge's penalty seven minutes later increased their lead to seven points. Even though Reiko Ioane's try in the 70th minute provided some respite for New Zealand, Hodge's final penalty with three minutes to go helped Michael Cheika's side complete a five point victory.

 

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