New Zealand's 17-match winning run ended with a disappointing 12-12 draw against the Wallabies on a wet night in Sydney, writes BRENTON CHELIN.
It was the second time in short succession that the Wallabies have halted their neighbour's quest for a world record, with an 18-18 draw in Brisbane putting paid to their previous run of 16 Test victories in 2012.
The inclement weather robbed us of what might've been a classic, with both teams likely to feel hard done by with the result. The All Blacks were harshly penalised at times by referee Jaco Peyper, most notably at the scrums, while the Wallabies were let down by basic errors and tactical naivety.
The All Blacks played the conditions impeccably, especially in the first half, mixing up their kicking game with some deft grubbers, up-and-unders and little chip kicks.
The weight of their kicks was superb, allowing their chasers to isolate the receiver and cause the Wallabies all sorts of problems at the ensuing breakdown.
They led 9-3 at the break courtesy of three penalties from the boot of Aaron Cruden, while all the Wallabies could muster for their efforts was a solitary Kurtley Beale effort.
A yellow card late in the half to All Black prop Wyatt Crockett for cynical play seemed to halt the Blacks' momentum, and the Wallabies capitalised in the early part of the second half.
Beale landed two penalties, in the 44th and 55th minutes, to bring them level, before Aaron Cruden moved the All Blacks back into the lead with his fourth penalty.
Cruden's replacement, Beauden Barrett, would then be sent to the bin with 10 minutes to go and Beale levelled things up to set up a thrilling finale.
The come-from-behind victory was not to be though, as both teams had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Wallabies – Penalties: Kurtley Beale (4)
All Blacks – Penalties: Aaron Cruden (4).
Wallabies – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nic White, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Pek Cowan, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Tevita Kuridrani.
All Blacks – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Joe Moody, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ryan Crotty.
Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images