Sunday, 16 October 2011

As it happened: All Blacks v Australia

Full time: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Eden Park erupts as full time is blown! ABs magnificent on defence, not letting the Wallabies through. All they could manage were the two penalties. NZ had to defend a lot more in the second half and they did it superbly.

As it happened: All Blacks v Australia (Source: Reuters)
79min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Aust banging away at the line, desperate, but commitment from the ABs and they win the penalty. The country won't be denied a first Rugby World Cup final since since 1987!

75min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Sonny Bill has come on but he's not stayed very long. Shoulder charge on Quade Cooper and Joubert says you're off for the rest of the game.

Cory Jane has been named as man of the match.

71min: New Zealand 20 Australia 6 - Pressure still on Australia, they have to score and they can't get out of their own half. The scrum disintegrates and another penalty, fist pumping and claps all-round. Weepu nails three from 40m, he has come back on as Ellis went off with blood pouring from his head.
Richie McCaw (file pic)
66min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Things starting to boil over, bit of biffo at the scrum. Penalty on halfway as the Aussies infringe, Cruden has a shot but it's wide again. Questions being asked over why the ball isn't being put into the corner.

63min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Pressure valve released for Aust, they've been defending for the last five minutes, but right on their own line Wallabies penalty.

58min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - All Blacks work themselves back into an attacking position. Dagg back in the pocket and he goes for the drop coal - it's terrible, ghastly, you wouldn't want to watch it a second time.

56min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Moore penalised at the breakdown, and Weepu points to the sticks. Right at the end of his range, 50m, but he's pushed it to the right.

54min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Ioane has been the best of the Aussies, busting the line, you feel like something's on everytime he gets his hands on it.

60,087 at Eden Park tonight.

51min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Promising attack for NZ but it breaks down after Dagg throws a loose pass which rolls into touch.

48min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Accidentally bumping into his own player Ioane, and ABs scrum. NZ spending much more time on attack but they're soaking it up.

45min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Another prolonged attacked from Aust, 12 phases, but great defence from the ABs and they wait for the knock-on.

42min: New Zealand 17 Australia 6 - Weepu has won a penalty for NZ right out in front and an easy three points. Aust pinged for not releasing.

Half time: - A half dominated by NZ but they haven't taken all their chances. Weepu has missed three kicks, a challenging conversion from the touchline but then two more straightforward penalties.

Kaino has been magnificent, holding off a charging Ioane in a try-saving tackle. Aust have missed 15 tackles, and have been forced to make a mountain of tackles.

40min: New Zealand 14 Australia 6 - Fantastic defence from the ABs. Another rare foray into into NZ territory, but great work at the breakdown has referee Craig Joubert awarding NZ the scrum and that's half time.

36min: New Zealand 14 Australia 6 - Comedy of errors has led to three points for NZ. Cooper had to run back and scoop up a charge down from Nonu, and got away a brilliant clearance. Kahui fired the quick restart, before Dagg put up a very average mid-field bomb. Aust caught offside, unfortunate for Ashley-Cooper, and Weepu manages to kick this one.

32min: New Zealand 11 Australia 6 - After an extended period on defence, they couldn't find a way through, so the ball is spun back to Cooper in the pocket who slots the drop goal.

29min: New Zealand 11 Australia 3 - Awkward kick from Genia and Kahui has tried to trap it with the boots but it's bounced away and into touch, Aussie lineout.

26min: New Zealand 11 Australia 3 - Cooper has had a very ordinary half so far, a few knock on's and kicking out twice on the full. He' getting a raucous reception from the crowd as expected, plenty of booing.

22min: New Zealand 11 Australia 3 - Cruden, all the maturity in the world and composure has slotted a drop goal! Plenty of phases for NZ, and eventually Cruden went back into the pocket and nailed it.

19min: New Zealand 8 Australia 3 - Scrum penalty to NZ, Kepu deemed to go straight down on the hit. Weepu's having an average start with the boot, he's only got ý so far.

16min: New Zealand 8 Australia 3 - Wallabies equalise through an O'Connor penalty. Great run from Ioane nearly to the line. McCaw off his feet and penalty.

11min: New Zealand 8 Australia 0 - Aust penalised for a player not supporting his own weight in the ruck. Challenging kick for Weepu out to the right but he's nailed this one, his third attempt.

A whopping 95% possession to NZ right now.

9min: New Zealand 5 Australia 0 - It's all New Zealand as they set up camp in the Aust lineout. Thorn steals a lineout and the Aussies are penalised for hands in the ruck. Weepu misses the penalty, off the post, fairly easy too.

7min: New Zealand 5 Australia 0 - TRY! Dagg puts the big fend on Elsom and gets the ball off to Nonu before he goes into touch, and Nonu collects to power into the corner!

4min: New Zealand 0 Australia 0 - Five metre scrum after O'Connor takes the ball back into his own area. Jane loses the ball off the setpiece.

2min: New Zealand 0 Australia 0 - What a start! Cooper kicks out on the full and there's a centrefield scrum. Weepu puts a lovely little kick into the corner.


The All Blacks have laid down the challange, and it was a fierce Haka!

Conditions are perfect, no wind. Australia have won the toss and will kick off.

Eden Park is slowly filling and the tension in the air is so conspicuous that it feels more like a funeral than a RWC semi-final.

Richard Kahui and Stephen Donald are currently warming up at the West End of the field. Kahui just looked into the heavens as if to say this is his moment.

Richie McCaw's right thigh is heavily strapped but he does appear to be running freely.

Meanwhile the non-playing reserves of Wallabies are casually playing hacky with a rugby ball around the halfway line. Reasonable skills but I don't think they are going to get an A-League contract anytime soon.

The official team sheets have just come in and both the All Black and Wallabies' 22s remain the same.

The brass band just dropped their horns and did a haka. Classic. It seemed to lighten up the crowd too.

All Blacks: 15-Israel Dagg, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 11-Richard Kahui, 10-Aaron Cruden, 9-Piri Weepu, 8-Kieran Read, 7-Richie McCaw ©, 6-Jerome Kaino, 5-Sam Whitelock, 4-Brad Thorn, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Keven Mealamu, 1-Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Andy Ellis, Stephen Donald, Sonny Bill Williams.

Wallabies: 15-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14-James O'Connor, 13-Anthony Faingaa, 12-Pat McCabe, 11-Digby Ioane, 10-Quade Cooper, 9-Will Genia, 8-Radike Samo, 7-David Pocock, 6-Rocky Elsom, 5-James Horwill (captain), 4-Dan Vickerman, 3-Ben Alexander, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-Sekope Kepu

Reserves: 16-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17-James Slipper, 18-Rob Simmons, 19-Ben McCalman, 20-Luke Burgess, 21-Berrick Barnes, 22-Rob Horne.

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