Wallabies rebound, defeating All Blacks to win championship

SYDNEY • Scrum-half Nic White came off the bench to score 10 points in the last 11 minutes and give Australia a 27-19 victory over New Zealand and a first Rugby Championship title yesterday.

White's penalty and converted try settled a lively contest in which the lead see-sawed all evening and gave the Wallabies their first victory over the world champions since 2011.

That was also the year they last won the southern hemisphere championship in the final year of the Tri-Nations.

Prop Sekope Kepu and winger Adam Ashley-Cooper also crossed for the Australians, who will win back the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002 if they beat the All Blacks in Auckland this week.

New Zealand winger Nehe Milner-Skudder scored two tries on debut and fly-half Dan Carter kicked three penalties but it was not enough to prevent the All Blacks falling to only a third defeat since winning the World Cup in 2011.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw suffered only his 15th defeat in the black shirt in his 141st appearance for his country, matching Irishman Brian O'Driscoll's record tally.

Australia won three straight Rugby Championship Tests for the first time since 2000 and it gave Wallabies fans every reason to believe in their team heading to the World Cup.

But Wallabies coach Michael Cheika preferred to keep a lid on expectations, saying: "We have only beaten New Zealand once in a long time and for me that only stands for a little bit. Consistency is king. We have to compete with them on their home turf now."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said: "They played particularly well and thoroughly deserved the win and championship. They outmuscled us at scrum time but they won the battle under the body and ball at the breakdown.

"We have to go away now and have a good look at ourselves. We have lost games before. It doesn't mean we are a bad side."

McCaw said of the defeat: "We got ourselves ahead on the scoreboard and that was the moment we needed to get things spot on. The feeling I have got is we made it a bit easy for them through poor decision making."

The All Blacks led 6-3 at half-time, but the Wallabies controlled much of the second half.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 09, 2015, with the headline 'Wallabies rebound, defeating All Blacks to win championship'. Print Edition | Subscribe