Match Report: Bledisloe Cup: New Zealand 16-16 Australia

New Zealand 16-16 Australia, Sky Stadium

Both Australia and New Zealand could not be separated in the opening game of the Bledisloe Cup as the encounter finished with a 16-16 draw at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.

This was also the first international game since the Covid-19 restrictions started and the first as head coach for both Dave Rennie (Australia) and Ian Foster (New Zealand).

The two teams will face each other next on 18th October at Eden Park in Auckland before the continue their rivalry in the Rugby Championship to be played in Australia.

Beauden Barrett was forced to miss the game with an injury with Damian McKenzie coming at fullback but his brother Jordie impressed at the outset after making most of the groundwork from Rieko Ioane, who combined with McKenzie, Jack Goodhue and Shannon Frizell to send the winger over the line in the 9th minute.

The conversion was missed but Jordie kicked a penalty goal in the 28th minute to take New Zealand to eight points before James O'Connor got the Wallabies off the mark with a three-pointer in the 31st minute as the opening half ended with a 8-3 scoreline.

Australia had a chance to narrow down the gap further but O'Connor's kick went wide and soon New Zealand stepped up the gears when Codie Taylor sent an inside pass to George Bridge, who in turn allowed Aaron Smith to cross over the line making the scoreline 13-3.

Dave Rennie's side regrouped and it was a long pass from O'Connor that was capitalised by Marika Koroibete as he went over the line in the 53rd minute and 10 minutes it was the turn of Filipo Daugunu to dot down as Australia levelled the score at 13-13.

A penalty kick from O'Connor in the 74th minute provided Australia the lead for the first time in the game but Barrett made amends for his earlier misses as he slotted a three-pointer in the 79th minute to finish the game in a 16-16 draw.

Team line-up:

New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Tupou Vaai, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Caleb Clarke

Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Harry Wilson, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper

Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Rob Valetini, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Reece Hodge

New Zealand Fixtures


New Zealand Results