Late Jordie Barrett try sees All Blacks controversially beat Australia in Rugby Championship thriller

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Jordie Barrett grabbed a try after the siren as New Zealand edged Australia 39-37 in a Melbourne classic to win the Bledisloe Cup for a 20th year in succession and move a step closer to back-to-back Rugby Championship crowns.

In a controversial finish at Marvel Stadium, French referee Mathieu Raynal took the ball off fly-half Bernard Foley for time-wasting even though the clock was off as he was poised to kick a penalty clear from defence with Australia holding a three-point lead.

Gifted possession, the All Blacks spread the ball wide to Barrett who crossed in the left corner as a crowd of 53,245 gasped.

It was a bruising contest, with a slew of injuries on both sides, including both the teams’ captains. All Blacks skipper Sam Cane clashed heads with midfield team-mate David Havili in the first half and both were ruled out of the match.

“Obviously there was a lot of carnage out there, a fair few injuries,” Cane said. “To win it on the buzzer we’re obviously hugely delighted. To the Aussie boys – what a Test match.”

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Barrett’s cool finish secured the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup that the All Blacks have held since 2003 with a match to spare.

The All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup for the 20th consecutive year

In a clash featuring four yellow cards – three given to the hosts – All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho grabbed a try at the start of both halves, while fly-half Richie Mo’unga and Will Jordan also crossed in a three-minute burst after the break.

The Wallabies rallied bravely with a late brace of tries by winger Andrew Kellaway and Pete Samu nearly brought the roof down with a stunning try assisted by Marika Koroibete in the 73rd minute and a long-range Nic White peanlty put the hosts in front before the late drama.

“Absolutely gutted. I actually don’t know what to say,” said the Wallabies stand-in captain James Slipper, who came off early with a calf problem.

“We just fell short there. It’s probably the most gutting way to finish.”

The win keeps the defending champion All Blacks top of the Rugby Championship table on 14 points, four ahead of Australia who grabbed a bonus point in defeat. Argentina and South Africa, on nine points, face off in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

“I’m gutted for our men because I reckon we deserved better,” said coach Dave Rennie. “It’s a disappointing way to lose it.

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“Of course the clock stopped, so there was no real urgency to do that [the decision to overturn the penalty]. It lacks a little bit of feel for such an important moment in the game.”

Reuters

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