All Blacks deny Wallabies after the siren in epic game in Brisbane 29- 28

The All Blacks compounded the Wallabies miserable week last night when a late Malakai Fekitoa try and a conversion by Colin Slade enabled them to snatch a 29-28 victory at Suncorp Stadium.

The flies were meant to be crawling all over the rotting Wallabies, an outfit supposed to be in total disarray on and off the field, but they almost executed one of their most remarkable wins until the All Blacks slipped a knife between their ribs in the dying seconds.

Midfield Fekitoa beat the tackle of Bernard Foley to give Slade the chance to be the hero – and the Canterbury utility back proved he must have small chips of ice floating in his veins when he kicked the winner.

Let’s put this match into context: a number of the Wallabies players have been reported to be at war with coach Ewen McKenzie in the wake of the dreadful affair involving the errant Kurtley Beale and with fingers being pointed in all directions they were supposed to be a rabble when they turned up to play.

Wrong. The Aussies proved a brave and committed lot as they did all they could to try and mark Adam Ashley-Coopers 100th match with a victory.

Their most fatal error was taking their eyes off the New Zealanders in the final 11 minutes when halfback Aaron Smith ducked over for a try with a quick penalty tap and then not closing out the match by holding possession to prevent Fekitoa from scoring.

Even with All Blacks replacement lock Patrick Tuipulotu getting yellow carded for a clumsy challenge on Rob Simmons in the air, the Aussies couldn’t land the killer blow.

The victory means the All Blacks earned their first win in Queensland since 2008 but this wasn’t a vintage effort. Far from it. They slipped off tackles, their handling was at times sub-standard and possession was, at times, a major issue.

But no-one could ever deny they have massive ticker.

Fekitoa coughed-up a couple of balls in the first spell and despite tighthead prop Owen Franks forcing James Slipper to concede several times in the scrums the New Zealanders struggled to get their attack running.

Michael Hooper, Saia Fainga’a and Scott Fardy all plugged away for the Aussie pack.

There is little doubt Fekitoa is an exciting prospect but the transition to the unfamiliar No 12 role from centre is going to require patience from all parties, a point reiterated when he was exposed by Christian Leali’ifano.

Leali’ifano surprised himself with the ease in which he beat Fekitoa and the line break had serious consequences for the New Zealanders; the Wallabies swept downfield and halfback Nick Phibbs burrowed over near a ruck to score.

Alarm bells for the Kiwis? Hardly – but they knew had a scrap on their hands and immediately made amends by winning the re-start and sending Cory Jane – who was replaced by Charles Piutau at halftime – into the corner.

Although Dane Coles pocketed the All Blacks’ second five-pointer 19 minutes later, the hooker fooling Ashley-Cooper with a tricky dummy and sprint, they failed to a stranglehold on their opponents.

The Wallabies, who dominated 63 per cent of possession in the first spell, held their nerve and were justly rewarded with a try to playmaker Bernard Foley who spied a fraction of space near the corner flag and plunged over.

All Blacks 29 (Cory Jane, Dane Coles, Aaron Smith, Malakai Fekitoa tries; Beauden Barrett 2 con, pen, Colin Slade con) Wallabies 28 (Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper tries; Foley 2 con, 3 pen). HT: 12-15

– Stuff

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About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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