By Oliver Jeffrey (@OliverJeffrey4)Embed from Getty Images
Saturday 7, November 2020 is where Australia will host their fourth and final Rugby Championship match against their rivals New Zealand as the two teams clash at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The All Blacks come into this game with immense confidence from their recent 43-5 win against the Wallabies. Australia’s best result against New Zealand in the campaign was in the first test match where the two teams drew 16-16 in Wellington.
Since then, New Zealand have trumped Australia in the second and third fixtures, scoring 70 points in those two matches combines.
Thus, the All Blacks are currently at the top of the Rugby Championship table with five points. Given the withdrawal of the South African team, due to Coronavirus issues, will the All Blacks go on to reign supreme without a proper challenge? Or will the wounded Wallabies deliver one final kick of defiance? Oliver Jeffery will be taking you through the action as it happens.
Reece Hodge starts at fly-half for Australia today with their initial options of Matt Toomua and James O’Connor being lost through injury. Whereas, New Zealand decide to start Akira Ione at flanker, with his last game being his debut against a French XV in Lyon back in 2017. Some key players to watch in this game, but lets have a look at how the two teams match up.
And we’re off…
3′ TRY Tom Wright. Hodge chips over the All Blacks defence after gathering a lineout. The ball then bounces and lands perfectly for the onrushing Tom Banks. He then drives towards the line and offloads to Wright who goes over to score the opening try for Australia on his debut. Hodge can’t convert the kick but what a start for the Wallabies.Embed from Getty Images
8′ TRY Rieko Ioane. After many phases built up from New Zealand, they eventually go out wide and Ngani Laumape tries to pass the ball over the top of Wright. Wright’s hand touches the ball but it falls for an easy pick up for Rieko Ioane as he goes into the corner to score. No conversion for Jordie Barrett as he clips the uprights. It’s 5-5 in the opening minutes of the game.Embed from Getty Images
15′ Lachlan Swinton is having an amazing game so far as he completes seven dominant tackles in the opening part of the game. Could his dominance help Australia based on what they were missing last week?
21′ PENALTY Hodge. New Zealand’s Sevu Reece is penalised for not rolling away in the ruck after Marika Koroibete took the ball into contact after receiving a great flick pass up. Hodge kicks the conversion and the Wallabies lead 8-5.
23′ RED CARD Ofa Tuungafasi. After Wright takes the ball into contact, Tuungafasi catches him high on the chin and is sent off from the field. The All Blacks are left with 14 men on the field as the first red card is shown in the competition.Embed from Getty Images
25′ The All Blacks win a penalty in their 22 metre line and TJ Perenara taps it quickly and punts the ball out to clear their lines as the 14 man side get a chance to breathe after conceding multiple discipline penalties previously. 20 minutes left.
32′ PENALTY Barrett. The All Blacks win a penalty as Australia enter the ruck from the side and Barrett converts the chance to make them level at 8-8.
35′ RED CARD Swinton. What started off as an immense game from Swinton sees him getting sent off as he catches Samuel Whitelock high. Yet another forceful high tackle takes place in the game and yet another player is sent from the field. It’s now 14 vs 14 as we approach the last five minutes of the halfEmbed from Getty Images
40+1′ YELLOW CARD Koroibete. Australia are penalised yet again for consecutive infringements and it results in Koroibete being sin binned as he has hands in the ruck illegally. Australia are doing well to keep New Zealand out so far but their penalty count is creeping up. Will their defence give into overtime?
40+2′ The ball is eventually lost by the All Blacks and we end the first half as the score stays at 8-8 despite dominant New Zealand possession. Although, the Wallabies are doing well so far to keep them out. A scrappy and niggly game so far with both teams not willing to back down on their physicality.Embed from Getty Images
46′ The second half is uderway and the All Blacks display their iconic offloading rugby as they go from their 22 meter line to the half way line with just a matter of creative passes. The ball is eventually passed forwards but a good early start for New Zealand.
49′ PENALTY Hodge. Anton Lienert-Brown is penalised for not getting back onside and Hodge kicks over the penalty to bring the Wallabies to 11. Koroibete then comes back on to the field from his sin bin after the chance is converted.
51′ TRY Codie Taylor. After getting a line out after a dangerous Reece run, the All Blacks forward pack eventually crash over and Taylor scores. The conversion is kicked beautifully by Barrett as he curls the kick around. New Zealand now lead 15-11.Embed from Getty Images
58′ PENALTY Hodge. A massive scrum takes place as the replacement prop Taniela Tupou wins a penalty for Australia as they dominate the All Blacks forward pack. Hodge then lines up the conversion kick and converts the chance from a fairly far way out. Australia are now within one point as New Zealand still lead 15-14.
64′ The Wallabies win another penalty as the roving Koroibete manages to get his hands in the ruck and the All Blacks are penalised for not releasing the ball. Hodge takes the kick from the half way line, the distance is fine but he ends up just missing the posts.
69′ YELLOW CARD Scott Barrett. As Nic White goes to pass the ball from the ruck, Barrett is penalised for interfering with the ball whilst being off his feet. He is then sin-binned as a result as the Wallabies kick for touch.
70′ PENALTY Hodge. After yet another penalty, Hodge converts the kick right in front of the posts as Australia lead 17-15 with 10 minutes left. Can they hold their lead with not long left?Embed from Getty Images
74′ TRY Tupou. After two monstrous carries by Tupou, he then eventually goes over, a few phases later to score as he crashes past three All Blacks defenders from five meters out. Reece Hodge then kicks the conversion over as Australia now lead 24-15 with five minutes left.Embed from Getty Images
79′ TRY Patrick Tuipulotu. Ardie Savea has a great run as he carries the ball amazingly and moments later, Tuipulotu goes over the whitewash to score as the All Blacks come within one score with one minute to go. Brad Barrett then kicks the conversion as New Zealand rush back for the kickoff.
80+1′ The ball is then kicked out after a scrum, from two dominant tackles by Koroibete, and Australia win the match 24-22 as they defend their winning record against the All Blacks at the Suncorp Stadium since 2016. What a win from a disadvantaged Australia side as they clasp the game with the help of the impact substitutions.