Solid All Blacks beat Australia

20-10 home victory over rivals takes New Zealand to the brink of Tri-Nations glory.

    The All-Blacks are on the brink of claiming the Tri Nations title  [AFP]

    Australia have four points after three games, above South Africa, who are propping up the table without a single point from the championship.

    The victory over Australia also saw New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup, a prize that All Black coach Graham Henry said was more important than the Tri-Nations.

    "From our point of view its about the Bledisloe Cup," Henry told reporters. "It's a big trophy for New Zealand rugby and the boys value it highly.

    They're delighted. It was a big test match to secure that Cup and it was a major plus."

    The Bledisloe Cup is contested annually between the two countries and gives an added edge to already tense Tri-Nations matches. 

    The first half of the match was played at a frenetic pace that the second half failed to match, with the fluid, attacking style of play that has charaterised the All Blacks' recent performances breaking down into a solid, if dour, defensive display.

    The Wallabies dominated possession but could not break through New Zealand's lines. A sole Dan Carter penalty in the second half cemented a victory that will be remembered in New Zealand more for its significance than its quality.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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