Rugby: Wallabies down All Blacks 23-18 in Brisbane for first win over rivals in over two years

 Israel Folau (center) of the Wallabies in action during the third Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Oct 21, 2017.
Israel Folau (center) of the Wallabies in action during the third Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Oct 21, 2017.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BRISBANE (REUTERS) - Australia produced a performance of huge character to beat New Zealand 23-18 and secure their first victory over the world champions in eight Tests, after a thunderous scrap of a third Bledisloe Cup clash at Lang Park on Saturday.

Tries from wingers Reece Hodge and Marika Koroibete as well as a 12th of the season from full-back Israel Folau had given the home side a 20-13 lead with 15 minutes of the match remaining.

Waisake Naholo had crossed in the first half for the world champions and his fellow winger Rieko Ioane got their second in the 71st minute but Damian McKenzie missed the conversion and a 55-metre Hodge penalty gave the Wallabies a famous victory.

New Zealand beat Australia 54-34 in Sydney and 35-29 in Dunedin during the Rugby Championship and so were already assured of retaining the Bledisloe Cup for a 15th successive season.

Before Saturday, Australia last beat New Zealand in August 2015.