Match One

Final Score – New Zealand 22 Australia 16

The All Blacks proved the stronger team overall in a typical old fashioned Bledisloe Cup encounter at Eden Park. Australia had led at half time by 13-10, with a try from Barnes, which was converted by Giteau. The fly half also added two penalties. The All Blacks always stayed in contention however and scored a deserved try through captain, Richie McCaw as half time approached, this was converted by Stephen Donald, who had earlier scored a penalty

The second half saw the All Blacks intensify their efforts in the contact areas and as the game went on they became the more dominant force. Their continual pressure bought them four penalties from the boot of Donald, with the Aussies only able to reply with a single penalty from Giteua.

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New Zealand v Australia Preview

The Opening fixture in the 2009 Tri Nations will see Australia try to win in Auckland for the first time since 1986 Despite the Tri Nations history they travel to New Zealand full of confidence and in the belief that coach, Robbie Deans has turned their fortunes around and great things are still to come.

The Wallabies proved when beating France three weeks ago that they have the game to really test the All Blacks with a defence that has become really well honed.

The Bookmakers to some extent seem to agree and have the Wallabies as short as 6/4 to defy the odds and win this opening match.

The All Blacks on the other hand have not looked so convincing, they lost in the first test to France a few weeks ago and although they avenged that reverse they did not do so convincingly. It is true that they were without captain Richie McCaw and the outstanding outside half, Daniel Carter for that series but even so they seemed out of sorts and will need to improve big time if they are to win this.

Although Carter has been named in the All Blacks squad he will not play in this Bledisloe Cup match until his match fitness is proven. Instead he will play a club game for Canterbury. The number 10 shirt is likely to be worn by Stephen Donald.

Teams

Aussie coach, Robbie Deans has named the following team to play in the opening match against the All Blacks:

15-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14-Lachie Turner, 13-Stirling Mortlock (captain), 12-Berrick Barnes, 11-Drew Mitchell, 10-Matt Giteau, 9-Luke Burgess, 8-Wycliff Palu, 7-George Smith, 6-Richard Brown, 5-Nathan Sharpe, 4-James Horwill, 3-Al Baxter, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-Benn Robinson. Replacements: 16-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17-Ben Alexander, 18-Dean Mumm, 19-Phil Waugh, 20-David Pocock, 21-Will Genia, 22-James O'Connor.

The All Black selectors made 10 changes from the side that beat Italy 27-6 in a lack lustre performance last month.

15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jimmy Cowan Forwards: 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Richie McCaw (capt), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock. Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Jason Eaton, Kieran Read, Piri Weepu, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko