Carter boots All Blacks home
A late Dan Carter penalty earned New Zealand a 19-18 victory and bragging rights over Australia in their Bledisloe Cup clash.
Last Updated: 22/08/09 4:07pm
A late Dan Carter penalty earned New Zealand a dramatic 19-18 victory and bragging rights over Australia in their Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney.
Australia led by nine points at half-time as Matt Giteau kicked four penalties to hand them a 12-3 advantage.
The All Blacks fought back well in the second period and hit the front for the first time with 15 minutes remaining when replacement Ma'a Nonu scored the only try of the contest.
Giteau restored Australia's lead as he landed his sixth penalty shortly afterwards, but Carter maintained his composure to decide the match with his late kick, condemning Australia to a third consecutive Tri-Nations defeat and a fifth in a row against the All Blacks.
The loss all but ends the Wallabies' hopes in this year's tournament and also ensured New Zealand clinched the Bledisloe Cup for a seventh consecutive season.
Carter opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute as he kicked a penalty from around 40 metres to mark his return to the All Blacks line-up and hand the visitors the early 3-0 lead.
But Australia were quickly back on terms and then ahead as Giteau responded with two penalties of his own on six and ten minutes as the visitors were penalised for breakdown infringements.
Both sides attempted to run the ball at every opportunity and it was New Zealand who came closest to the breaching the try-line on 25 minutes, only some good scrambling defence from Giteau keeping them at bay.
The Australian stand-off then extended his side's lead on 35 minutes with his third penalty and put them in control with a fourth right on the half-time whistle.
Poor start to second half
But the hosts endured a bad start to the second-half as Richard Brown was sin-binned after two minutes for the second straight match for a dangerous tackle on Owen Franks.
They escaped relatively unharmed as Carter and Giteau traded penalties in Brown's absence, but were fortunate to see referee Jonathan Kaplan chalk off tries for both Carter and Jimmy Cowan.
The All Blacks stayed on the front foot and got their reward when, after Carter had booted his third penalty, Ma'a Nonu completed a brilliant backline move for the first and only try of the night.
Carter's conversion put the All Blacks ahead for the first time only for Giteau to hit back almost instantly and edge Australia back into a 18-16.
But it was Carter who had the final word with his decisive penalty, although the visitors were forced to repel some desperate late Wallabies raids before the siren.