Game 1 of the 2020 Bledisloe Cup saw the Wallabies and All Blacks converge at Sky Stadium in Wellington.
Michael Hooper, celebrating his 100th test match, led out the new look Wallabies who are under the guidance of new coach Dave Rennie. New All Blacks captain Sam Cane led his him team out to battle.
It was a windy day with a few spots of rain early on that turned heavy in the final 20 minutes.
The Wallabies got into a strong position as soon as the game started but they lost the ball and New Zealand got the penalty.
Australia were the more attacking team in the opening seven minutes and worked the short side well with Harry Wilson and Filipo Daugunu . But then New Zealand got the ball and quick hands saw Jordie Barrett score the first try down the right-hand side to put five points on the board.
The wind was in New Zealand’s favour in the first half with Australia’s kicks being blown back towards them.
The Wallabies got to New Zealand’s line at the 20th minute but the All Blacks managed to pinch the ball after a tackle.
25th minute the All Blacks stole an Australian line out and got over the line but were held up. This was the third line-out mistake of the day for the Wallabies. Jordie Barrett took the penalty and moved New Zealand to 8-0.
The 29th minute saw the Wallabies given two penalties inside the All Blacks 22. The second penalty Australia kicked for goal with James O’Connor putting 3 points on the board. 8-3 New Zealand.
Australia got back to the All Blacks line with a rolling scrum but Sam Cane managed to steal the ball.
The All Blacks kicked the ball dead which saw Australia get a scrum in the New Zealand half.
Michael Hopper got a steal in the dying seconds of the first half, after New Zealand didn’t throw a straight ball in a line-out but didn’t get pulled up for it.
Australia couldn’t capitalise with a fumble pass by Folau Fainga’a. New Zealand got the ball and Rieko Ioane dove over the line but after a video review it was declared a no try as he didn’t ground the ball.
At the start of the second half James O’Connor kicked a penalty but missed.
Aaron Smith scored New Zealand’s second try three minutes into the second half. Nic White did his best to defend but Smith scrambled over the line. Jordie Barrett had a great kick from the far left but just missed. 13-3 New Zealand.
From a line out Australia had lovely flowing play that saw O’Connor pass to Marika Koroibete to cross the line in the 53rd minute.
O’Connor couldn’t convert the try from the far-left side of the field. 13-8 to New Zealand.
A bad pass from New Zealand allowed Australia to kick the ball down to the opposite end. Damien McKenzie had to ground the ball in the New Zealand goal area.
The 63rd minute and Filipo Daugunu scored for Australia after the ball popped up and quick pass. O’Connor missed the conversion. 13-13.
The rain got heavier but Australia were pumped and taking the game to the All Blacks.
New Zealand kicked for goal in the 71st minute to take the lead but missed.
73rd minute O’Connor kicked a penalty with loud booing coming the home crowd and scored. 16-13 Australia.
The All Blacks made a big push in the last 5 minutes in the Australian half and forced a penalty. Jordie Barrett easily kicked to level the score. 16-16.
The hooter had gone but Australia had the penalty advantage. Reece Hodge had the kick from the 55m line. He had the distance but the ball hit the post.
Australia charged the ball down and fought valiantly but no try was coming. 7 minutes of injury time followed and it was the most dramatic action of the game.
New Zealand pushed hard and almost scored again but Australia were too strong in defence. Australia kicked the ball into touch to finish the game. 16-16 draw.
Tune in to 10 and 10 play on Sunday 18th October at 1:30 pm for Wallabies v All Blacks Bledisloe Cup Game 2