The Wallabies have been forced to settle for a 16-16 draw against the All-Blacks in Bledisloe 1.
Wallabies kicker Reece Hodge had the chance to win the match in the 83rd minute, a kick from 53 metres out looked headed for goal and set to snatch a Wallabies upset until the ball tailed off and struck the right-hand upright.
📏 A game of inches….
— RUGBYcomau (@rugbycomau) October 11, 2020
However, the Wallabies regathered the ball and went for a match-winning try instead of the high percentage play of attempting a field goal from right in front of the posts.
The Wallabies ultimately lost the ball and their chance to win the game.
The All Blacks then had their chance as they battered the Wallabies’ line, but they too opted not to take a field goal from straight in front of the posts.
8 minutes after the final siren had sounded it was left to James O’Connor to kick the ball out into the Wellington stands, thereby ending the first trans-Tasman draw since 1962.
“That was wild at the end,” reflected Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper after his 100th Test.
“There was four seasons in that game at the end.”
While the result would have surprised many, the Wallabies weren’t content with simply coming away with a draw.
“We’re disappointed,” Rennie, who two decades earlier announced his arrival as a coach by leading Wellington to a title, said in his post-match press conference.
“We’re certainly not celebrating in the changerooms.”
The Wallabies had to claw their way back from 13-3 down after 50 minutes through tries to wingers Marika Koroibete and Filipo Daugunu.
Those tries led the Wallabies to a 16-13 lead when O’Connor banged over a penalty from 35 metres out to extend the lead.
Rennie said his team still had a lot of work to do.
“We’re miles away from where we need to be,” Rennie said.
“We let ourselves down.
“We found a lot of space in behind them, we had a lot of ball but the quality of our clean out just wasn’t good enough and it’s area we need to be better next week. We gave away 14 penalties and a big chunk of those were post-tackle.”
The result was much needed for the relevance of Australian Rugby, it’s a result that will drive the popularity of the Wallabies and bring some much needed eyes to the Bledisloe Cup series.