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Rugby Union: A look back at Australia v New Zealand

The Wallabies suffered Bledisloe Cup heartbreak when slipping to a 37-35 defeat against New Zealand in controversial circumstances at Marvel Stadium on Thursday.

Australia looked to have victory in the bag with just three minutes remaining as they came from behind to lead thanks to a Nic White penalty.

However there was still time for some late drama as the referee adjudged Bernard Foley to be time wasting and awarded the All Blacks a free kick.

The visitors took full advantage of the late gift with Jordie Barrett going over to secure the win and leave the Wallabies gutted and frustrated.

Australia also needed to avoid defeat to keep their Rugby Championship hopes alive and are now left playing for pride.

Just to add a bit more insult to injury, the defeat means they are set to slip to ninth in the world rankings, which is a record low for them.

However despite another loss, there were still some positives to take from the defeat. Let’s take a look back at the clash.

Controversial moment leaves Wallabies frustrated

The Wallabies were left frustrated by the decision to award the All Blacks a free kick at the death and felt it was harsh to say the least.

After being awarded a penalty five metres away from their own line, the Wallabies celebrated with Bernard Foley then telling the referee he would kick for touch.

However he took too long and the match official Mathieu Raynal punished him for time wasting. Foley pleaded his innocence but the decision stood and from the resulting scrum the All Blacks scored a try in the corner.

The referee appears to have done nothing wrong and went by the letter of the law. However such calls are a rarity and to do it in such a huge game and in the dying moments has led to the outrage.

"I haven't seen a decision like that at any level," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said afterwards. "I think you've got to have a feel for the game and the situation.”

It is no surprise that All Blacks coach Ian Foster believes that the referee got the decision spot on and Australia have no-one to blame but themselves.

"I thought it was very clear-cut," he said. "Part of your game management is to listen to the referee. So when the referee says 'time on', you have to play it.

"I just saw it out there. I heard very clearly what the ref said. So I think we've just got to be careful."

Positives to take from the defeat

The Wallabies may have lost the game and New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup, but when the dust settles they can take heart from the performance and the spirit they showed throughout the game.

Trailing 31-13 after 56 minutes, Australian came roaring back into the game when scoring three tries before the late heartbreak.

The Wallabies have had their injury issues, while discipline has also been a problem for them at times. But when all 15 players are on the pitch they once again showed they are a match for anyone on their day.

Another positive was the stand-out performances of some of the Wallabies players, who were the best on the pitch.

Loose forward Pete Samu earned rave reviews for his performance and was more than a match for the opposition.

Rob Valetini was another to shine and coach Rennie will also be pleased with the way his side were not bullied in the scrum, so it was not all doom and gloom.

The skipper’s view

Despite the postives, skipper James Slipper believes they still blew their chance to claim a memorable win and they paid the price for not taking their chances.

“Absolutely gutted. I actually don’t know what to say,” Slipper said after the game. “We really wanted to put together a good performance tonight and we just fell short. That’s probably the most gutting way to lose a game.

“I feel like we had the momentum there. The All Blacks are a good team and one thing when you play them, you have to take your opportunities and everything in the last 20 minutes was in our hands and we blew it.”

Time to look forward

The Wallabies now need to put the disappointment behind them and move forward as they face the All Blacks again on 24th September, this time at Eden Park.

They have not won at the venue in 36 years and now the motivation is there to break the drought and make up for the disappointment of losing on Thursday night.

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