All Blacks win 2006 Tri Nations rugby series

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

The New Zealand All Blacks have defeated Australia to win the rugby union 2006 Tri Nations. The end result was a close 34 to 27 win for the home side, which was played at Auckland's Eden Park. It is the fourth series win in five years for the All Blacks. The All Blacks entered the match having already wrapped up the Bledisloe Cup two weeks prior in Brisbane, and sealed their victory in the Tri Nations by winning this match, despite the South African leg of the series starting next week. The Wallabies had not won at Eden Park in 20 years, whilst the All Blacks had not lost a Test at home in over three years.

The All Blacks performed the controversial Kapa O Pango haka before the game in front of the sold out Eden Park. The scoring kicked off in the third minute of play, with Stirling Mortlock booting a penalty goal to give the Wallabies an early lead of thee to nil. The equaliser came in the 6th minute, with Dan Carter kicking a penalty goal for the All Blacks. The Australian Wallabies were back in front by the 15 minute mark, Mortlock kicking another penalty goal to take Australia six points to three in front. In the fourth penalty goal in 20 minutes, Carter leveled things once again, six-points all. A intercept by Lote Tuqiri turned into a runaway try for Australia, scoring the first try of the match. Mortlock converted the try, making the score 13 points to six, 26 minutes in the game. Carter missed a penalty goal in the 32nd minute. Two minutes later the All Blacks barged over with Jason Eaton scoring the All Blacks' first try of the match. Carter missed the conversion, so Australia held onto a slim 13 to 11 lead. Australia went searching for their second try before half-time, Rocky Elsom getting over the line, though it went up to the video referee. The try was awarded, though some believe there was not enough control when the try was scored. Mortlock converted, and the Wallabies were now leading 20 points to 11.

Six minutes into the second half, Carter kicked a successful penalty goal, narrowing the gap to 14 to 20. Carter again narrowed the scoreline in the 53rd minute, kicking another penalty goal. The All Blacks now trailing by just three points, 17 to 20. The All Blacks came close to scoring in the 60th minute, though the ball was knocked-on close to the line. Minutes later Chris Jack put the All Blacks back in front, scoring the first try of the second half. Carter converted and the All Blacks now led the match 24 points to 20. In the 68th minute, Luke McAlister scored an intercept try, and with Carter's conversion, the All Blacks moved ahead 31 ponts to 20. However, in the 73rd minute, Tuqiri got his second try, and with Mortlock's conversion, there was a new hope for the Wallabies. The score now 31 points to 27, with under 10 minutes remaining. Phil Waugh was sent off in the final minutes of the match. A Carter conversion took the score line out to 34 to 27. Full-time was soon called, and the All Blacks had held onto the win. Despite the All Blacks win, the rugby is far from over, with more games to be played in the Republic.