The All Blacks and Wallabies gave it their all but couldn’t be separated in the first Bledisloe Cup Test at Wellington Stadium on Sunday.
All Blacks 16-16 Wallabies: Match report
The All Blacks let slip a first-half lead and had a try disallowed while new coach Ian Foster was left bitterly disappointed by the outcome.
Neither side played the most precise rugby and the ring rust was notable in both camps.
The All Blacks should have added to their 8-3 lead just before half-time but Rieko Ioane botched the grounding of the ball with not a single Wallaby in sight as he crossed the goal-line.
The goal-kickers struggled in wet and windy conditions and both sides missed potentially game-winning kicks.
In the second period the All Blacks lost their structure allowing the Wallabies to strike back with quick tries to Marika Koroibete and Filipo Daugunu midway through the half.
“Draws are always funny, aren’t they?” said All Blacks captain Sam Cane. “You could probably say both teams had their chances.
“We probably should have been leading by a bit more heading into the second half,” he added.
“Credit to the Aussies, as they always do they stuck at it and they were only a whisker away from taking it. It’s all set up for next week now.”
In a dramatic close, an O’Connor penalty five minutes from time put the Wallabies ahead for the first time.
Barrett kicked an equaliser three minutes later and with a minute left Reece Hodge hit the uprights with a huge 55-metre effort which lead to a 10-minute scramble as both sides fought in vain to secure the winning score.
“Man, it was close though, a kick off the post,” said Hooper. “But we’ll go next week at Eden Park, we’re up for the challenge.
“A lot to like there, but we would have liked to close it out though.”
New Zealand 16 Australia 16
New Zealand – Tries: Jordie Barrett, Aaron Smith. Penalties: Barrett (2)
Australia – Tries: Marika Koroibete, Filipo Daugunu. Penalties: James O’Connor (2)
Damian McKenzie; Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Shannon Frizell; Sam Whitelock, Patrick Tuipulotu; Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody
Replacements: Dane Coles, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Tyrel Lomax, Tupou Vaai, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Anton Lienert-Brown, Caleb Clarke
Tom Banks; Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Matt Toomua, Marika Korobiete; James O’Connor, Nic White; Pete Samu, Michael Hooper (capt), Harry Wilson; Matt Philip, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto; Taniela Tupou, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper.
Replacements: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Rob Valetini, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Reece Hodge.
Referee: Paul Williams (NZL)