All Blacks beat Australia in thriller

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New Zealand celebrate retaining the Bledisloe Cup
Rugby Championship
New Zealand (14) 35
Tries: Ioane, A Smith, B Barrett 2, B Smith Cons: Barrett 5
Australia (17) 29
Tries: Folau, Hooper, Foley, Genia, Beale Cons: Foley 2

A late try from Beauden Barrett edged New Zealand to a 35-29 victory over Australia in a thrilling Rugby Championship game in Dunedin.

Australia were 17-14 in front on the hour mark but Barrett’s first try sparked a frenetic finish.

Will Genia touched down to restore the Wallabies’ lead, only for Ben Smith to respond with an outstanding score.

Kurtley Beale put Australia back in front but Barrett’s 78th-minute try secured victory for the All Blacks.

After last week’s 54-34 victory in Sydney, it was a memorable way for the world champions to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

The visitors led 17-0 thanks to tries from Israel Folau, Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley but Rieko Ioane and Aaron Smith pegged them back before Barrett’s first score meant the lead changed hands for the first time.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read said: “We had to dig deep. We are pretty proud at the moment. We will certainly celebrate.”

New Zealand were playing in honour of All Blacks great Sir Colin Meads, who was named the country’s best rugby player of the 20th Century.

Meads died last Sunday at the age of 81.

“It’s a sad loss in the New Zealand community,” added Read. “We really wanted to do it for him.”

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