New Zealand made to wait for Tri-Nations crown

New Zealand beat Australia by 20 points to 10 in Christchurch, but the match was much more competitive than expected.

The first half was a fairly gripping affair, played at unbelievable pace. The All Blacks were ruthless in taking their chances, whilst the Wallabies enjoyed a much greater share of possession but lacked the penetration to do much with it. They were able to contest the breakdown much more effectively and starved the opposition of too much quick ball.

With New Zealand 17-10 ahead at half time, the Aussies were in the game, and you felt that with some more clinical execution, they might just sneak an unlikely win.

But then the second half descended into a snooze-fest, perhaps a symptom of the pace of the first. The All Blacks landed one penalty inside the last ten minutes, and that was about the most notable event.

Neither side managed to string together many phases in attack with errors creeping in everywhere, and the match limped to an inevitable conclusion.

New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup having won two matches of the four Test series and being the current holders, but they’ll have to wait to be crowned Tri-Nations champions. They needed a bonus point victory from this game, so although everyone knows they are going to win the tournament, mathematically they need to play again.

With everyone waxing lyrical about the All Blacks at their best again, this performance showed the rest of the world that they might just have a chance at the World Cup next year.