They say a draw is like kissing your sister, and the overwhelming sentiment from both the Wallabies and the All Blacks was one of ‘it was a missed opportunity, but at least we didn’t lose’ following the try-less 12-all Bledisloe Cup stalemate.
The driving rain turned ANZ Stadium into an ice-rink and limited scoring opportunities solely to off the goalkicking tee, with attacking chances foiled by handling errors, greasy conditions near the sidelines and great defence.
Australia trailed 9-3 at halftime, but highly contentious yellow cards dished out to New Zealand pair Wyatt Crockett (38th minute) and Beauden Barrett (69th minute) gave the hosts a gilt-edged shot at a momentous victory.
The Wallabies looked certain to pull off a late upset against the 14-man All Blacks, but a turnover in the dying stages foiled their hopes of setting for a decisive drop goal or push for a match-winning penalty goal.
The controversial Kurtley Beale No.10 gamble broke even for coach Ewen McKenzie, although it could be argued bringing on Bernard Foley earlier than he did would have been beneficial in the sloppy conditions.
While the result was arguably a handy one for the Wallabies as far as the Rugby Championship competition is concerned, it leaves them at square one in their bid for the elusive Bledisloe Cup, needing to win both of the remaining Tests against the All Blacks to wrest the trophy from them for the first time in 12 years.
Australia heads across the Tasman for the return clash with New Zealand at Eden Park – a venue the Wallabies have not won at since 1986 – this Saturday.
Here are the reactions from both sides after the weekend’s deadlocked Test:
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