All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup, with 39-37 thriller in Melbourne

The All Blacks have scored a controversial after-the-siren win over the Wallabies in Melbourne.

The All Blacks have scored a controversial after-the-siren win over the Wallabies in Melbourne. Photo: AP

The Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup drought has stretched to a 20th year after they suffered a heartbreaking 39-37 loss to the All Blacks in a drama-charged Test in Melbourne.

The Australians looked headed for a famous victory at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night after they scrapped their way back from 31-13, but All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett scored after the full-time hooter to secure the win.

The loss meant the Wallabies also crashed out of the race for the Rugby Championship.

The Wallabies took the lead 37-34 in the 77th minute after Nic White nailed a 45-metre penalty.

The visitors had a chance to level but instead opted for a five-metre lineout and the Wallabies forced a penalty at the breakdown.

However French referee Mathieu Raynal controversially turned the penalty for time-wasting, saying Bernard Foley didn’t play on when the clock restarted.

From the ensuing play the All Blacks found their man in Barrett, leaving the Wallabies devastated.

There was plenty to like about the Wallabies with fullback Andrew Kellaway scoring two tries and denied another by a blade of grass.

Five-eighth Foley, playing his first Test in three years, was a stand-out as was flanker Pete Samu in his first start of the year, while No.8 Rob Valetini also stood up.

The teams were locked at 10-10 at half-time after a hectic half that saw the All Blacks lose three players, including skipper Sam Cane to injury, while the Wallabies were forced to play with 13 men after both Darcy Swain and Tom Wright were yellow-carded at the same time.

Swain was sent to the sidelines in the 36th minute for an ugly tackle on the leg of Quinn Tupaea, with the reserve back assisted from the field with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

Wright was given his card for a professional foul trying to stop a break by All Blacks winger Caleb Clarke.

The home side got off to the worst possible start with a series of errors leaving them down 10-0 after 12 minutes, including a try by barnstorming hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho.

It looked like the Wallabies were on the scoreboard in the 20th minute but Kellaway missed grounding the ball by centimetres.

Valetini made no mistake five minutes later when the big No.8 barrelled over the line with Foley converting for a 10-10 scoreline.

New Zealand looked like it would run away with the match, taking advantage of another Wallabies yellow card with Richie Mo’unga and Will Jordan both crossing to push the lead out to 31-13.

But Kellaway scored twice and then Samu touched down in the 73rd minute, with Foley adding the extras to send the match into a thrilling finale.


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