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New Zealand All Blacks 37 Wallabies 34

Rarely have I experienced such a dramatic and controversial end to a rugby international.

After trailing by 19 points at one stage, the Wallabies came back to 34-32 and – with the klaxon about to sound – the All Blacks mounted their last attack.

The French referee Matthieu Reynald awarded the Wallabies a penalty and that seemed that.

However the Wallabies fly half Bernard Foley was then penalised for time-wasting, notwithstanding the clock had stopped, and a scrum was awarded to New Zealand from which Jordan Barrett scored to give them a 81st minute victory.

The Australian commentators could barely disguise their anger and the incident looks like being as controversial as Trevor Chappell bowling underarm to get a draw in the cricket.

The All Blacks started as they had finished in their 50 point demolition of Argentina with two early scores.

Yet the Wallabies stayed in the game – all the more remarkable as before half-time they had two players in the sin bin.

In the second half the All Blacks extended their lead only for that finale and a rousing chorus of “We wuz robbed”

Are the All Blacks back? Not on this performance.

Richie Mo’unga was running the show at fly half and Brodie Retallack and Sam Whitelock  looked what they are – the finest locks in the world.

Yet there were too many errors, both of judgments and handling.

If any thing the Wallabies looked the force to be reckoned with.

Finally a word about Melbourne.

When I was there for the Flintoff defence of the Ashes some 15 years ago a local argued with me that it was the best sporting city in the world.

I responded that London had better and more iconic stadia.

However I must concede that with Marvel Stadium, where this enthralling match was played, but essentially an Aussie Rules venue and the MCG – together with the Rod Laver  tennis ground – it is certainly up there with the  best.

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About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts