For the Bledisloe Cup, New Zealand and Australia drew in an emotional battle in the rain.
New Zealand Y Australia They gave away a great game of rugby according to their story. It was a 16-16 between the All Blacks and the Wallabies, with a film-scripted ending between two of Los Pumas’ next rivals in the Rugby Championship.
The duel was for the Bledisloe Cup, a cup that has been contested between both teams since 1932 and is named after the English governor of New Zealand who donated the first trophy. After the match at Sky Stadium in Wellington, they will meet again at Eden Park, Auckland.
Both teams officially played after seven months, due to the stoppage due to the pandemic. They did it under a hostile climate of wind and rain and with some 30,000 people in the stadium, without the obligation to wear chinstraps.
The New Zealanders have vast superiority, winning the Bledisloe Cup 46 times and winning it continuously since 2003. In addition, the Wallabies last won on New Zealand soil in 2001, 23-15.
So much expectation was paid for the 80 minutes of play and its extension, with a certain dominance of Australia, that let the victory slip away incredibly on the last play.
They were already even at 16 when there was a penalty for those in yellow. It was not easy, because from the finishing point to the posts there were 57 meters. But the Wallabies have an expert kicker: Reece Hodge.
He took a short run and fired the shot. Strong and tall, leaning to his right. It seemed he was going in, but as he took the downward curve he hit the left post of the H and left the ball in play.
Away from the play, the Australians did not get to pick it up but the New Zealanders reacted late to take that rebound and allowed their rivals to approach, who recovered the ball. It is still not explained why they did not attempt a drop and insisted on looking for the try.
In that search, the unexpected happened. The All Blacks regained possession and fiercely fought back. They had four attempts to support the try, but the Wallabies defended hard very close to the ingoal. Why wouldn’t those in black have attempted a drop? Why did they copy the play of those in yellow?
From the time Hodge hit the stick until visiting starter O’Connor threw the ball out, 10 more minutes than the regulation 80 had passed. It was a party. With both teams exhausted by that tremendous effort at the end and after a duel played in the rain and crosswind.
Before that end of infarction also great plays happened. Jordie Barrett made the first New Zealand try, but it was not noticed that Rieko Ioane had stepped on the line before qualifying. Barrett and O’Connor each scored penalties.
In the second half, the Australians discounted through Aaron Smith and then tied with tries by Marika Koroibete and Filipo Daugunu.
Later came that Hodge penalty and an epic battle of nearly ten minutes, which kept the crowd on their feet. There was closed applause, deserved, for the delivery of the two powers. The two will have revenge very soon.