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Kiwis denied chance to push for world record

Date

Chris Barclay

Held to a draw … Ben Tapuai is tackled.

Held to a draw … Ben Tapuai is tackled. Photo: Getty Images

FOR the All Blacks, a sense of deja vu is no longer solely applicable to the French at World Cups - the supposedly woeful Wallabies ended their tilt at a world-record winning sequence a second time with a deserved stalemate in Brisbane.

Their 18-18 draw was against the odds and had no bearing on the All Blacks' continued ownership of the Bledisloe Cup but it did deny them 17 straight Test triumphs.

Queensland again proved an unhappy hunting ground for the All Blacks, 14 months after the Wallabies secured the last Tri-Nations title with New Zealand's most recent defeat.

Burst of speed ... Pat McCabe eludes the New Zealand defence. Click for more photos

Wallabies hold the All Blacks

The Wallabies surprise the rugby fraternity by halting the rampaging All Blacks' tilt at 16 straight wins with a gritty 18-18 draw in Brisbane. Photo: Getty Images

It was a morale-boosting victory for Australian coach Robbie Deans, who also controlled the team responsible for ending the All Blacks' 15-Test unbeaten run in Hong Kong in 2010.

Deans avoided the 14th loss against his homeland in 18 attempts thanks to the flawless goal kicking of North Harbour representative Mike Harris.

Harris squared an error-strewn though tryless encounter at Suncorp Stadium with seven minutes of regulation time to play, although the Wallabies had to wait until long after the siren to gain some solace from a disappointing season.

In a fraught conclusion, the Wallabies held possession and field position but refused to set for a dropped goal; then from a penalty turnover the All Blacks launched one desperate raid into Australian territory but Daniel Carter was unable to repeat his match-saving field goal exploits in the second Irish Test at Christchurch in June. His stood disconsolate after his pot from 25 metres in front of the posts drifted wide.

After two sublime performances in La Plata and Soweto, the All Blacks regressed to the uninspiring form they produced at the start of the Rugby Championship - and opening trans-Tasman encounters as Harris, one of seven Wallabies making a Bledisloe Cup debut, punished their inaccuracy and illegalities in multiples of three.

Aaron Smith set the tone for the a tardy opening 40 minutes by the overwhelming favourites in the opening seconds when his clearance of Kurtley Beale's deep kick-off was charged down.

The All Blacks' problems were not all self-inflicted as the Wallabies exerted tremendous pressure at the breakdown, an area where South African referee Craig Joubert frequently found fault with McCaw and his men.

It was a frustrating night for the skipper, who endured three defeats at the ground last year with the Crusaders and All Blacks. He was also treated with familiar contempt - last night blindside Scott Higginbotham produced an undetected head butt in the 25th minute. To add insult to injury, McCaw was penalised at a ruck five minutes later, prompting Joubert to issue a warning.

The Wallabies were depleted in the 55th minute when McCaw's counterpart, Michael Hooper, was sin-binned for a late hit on Smith. Carter converted the resulting penalty to trim the Wallabies' margin to three and was also on target as the All Blacks led for the first time with 10 minutes to elapse. The All Blacks' famed composure was barely evident all night.

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A ray of light at end of All Black tunnel

There is life in the old dog yet. For all the talk of a dead rubber, a walkover and the greatest All Blacks side of all time, the Wallabies proved they have depth beyond their first-choice starting XV and have the confidence to dominate on their coming end of year tour.

All Blacks angry at Higginbotham 'cheap shots'

The All Blacks have labelled Scott Higginbotham's knee and headbutt on Richie McCaw as a 'cheap shot' in a fiery wash-up to last night's Bledisloe Cup battle in Brisbane.

A dark year for green and golds but at least Wallabies avoided defeat in final Bledisloe

With the last domestic international of the year behind us it would seem only fit to give some thought to the best of the best this year. The categories I have chosen are the following: the team of the year, player of the year, best play of the year, best pass of the year, the heart-crushing moment of the year and the most bizarre moment on the field. I am sure there are many more and it's going to be up for debate, but here are mine.

Live: Wallabies v All Blacks

Live: Wallabies v All Blacks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 20: Wallabies captain Nathan Sharpe runs the ball during the Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Wallabies hold the All Blacks

The Wallabies surprise the rugby fraternity by halting the rampaging All Blacks' tilt at 16 straight wins with a gritty 18-18 draw in Brisbane.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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