Australia prevented New Zealand from claiming a world record 18th consecutive win by holding the world champions to a 12-12 draw in a try-less Rugby Championship opener that left both sides disappointed.

In a gritty encounter played out in a Sydney rainstorm, Australia were handed a glimpse of an upset when South African referee Jaco Peyper showed yellow cards to All Blacks' Wyatt Crockett and Beauden Barrett either side of the break.

They tied the match up with flyhalf Kurtley Beale's fourth penalty 10 minutes from time after Barrett was sin-binned but were unable to make the most of their superior numbers and secure a first victory over the All Blacks for three years.

All Blacks flyhalf Aaron Cruden scored all of his side's points with four penalty kicks of his own as New Zealand came up short of a win for the first time in the three years of the Rugby Championship.

The draw means New Zealand continue to share the record of 17 consecutive victories by a top tier nation with the 1965 69 All Blacks and South Africa side of 1997-98.

South Africa win

A first-minute try from Ruan Pienaar proved decisive as South Africa beat Argentina 13-6 in a rain affected match at Loftus Versfeld to record a winning start to the annual four-nation competition.

Argentina had three good chances in the last five minutes to force a possible draw but defeat by seven points ensured some consolation in the form of a bonus point.

Source: Reuters