This weekend was filled with footy madness. The NRL Finals Week 1 were in full swing as were the AFL Finals Week 2. In addition, the Wallabies and the All Blacks were finishing off the Tri Nations tournament. This final match was a stunner that had fans on both sides of the field on their feet as it came down to the closing minutes to decide the winner. Unfortunately for the 70,288 fans looking on at ANZ Stadium, the Wallabies weren’t able to hold on. The All Blacks took a very close 23-22 win.
It was a familiar scenario for the Wallabies. They started the game off strong, quickly gaining the upper hand with the only try of the first quarter. It came at the 15th minute when James O’Connor crashed in over the corner. The All Blacks were looking disjointed throughout the entire first half, which the Australians took full advantage of, going into the half break with a 14-6 lead.
Even after the break, the Wallabies continued to dominate with a second try just seven minutes in. Adam Ashley-Cooper scored for the Wallabies to extend their lead by 13 points. Though, the momentum shifted with just twenty minutes to go. Spurred on by a try from All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw, the New Zealand team found their feet to begin their comeback. Of course, the momentum-shifting play has some calling foul, as there is some question about whether McCaw broke from the scrum too early. Nevertheless, with the Wallabies looking worn out, the All Blacks went on to grab the converted try and take the win.
While the Wallabies failed to hold onto their lead, they are leaving this Tri Nations with some satisfaction. It was a year of milestones for the team that is still developing into the most potent Aussie rugby union team in years. It was the closest the All Blacks came to a loss in this Tri Nations tournament, which will be some consolation for the Australians. The All Blacks took a very comfortable first place finish in the tournament with the Aussies sitting in second place. South Africa finished in third.
The Tri Nations may have come to an end, but there is still plenty of rugby betting action to be had. Ladbrokes.com.au is offering plenty of odds on upcoming rugby union fixtures, including early lines on the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Check it out to place your bets.