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All Blacks and Wallabies draw in Sydney

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James Mortimer     17 Aug 2014     Getty Images

The All Blacks, sitting on 17 straight international victories, were unable – as it was in 2010 and 2012 – extend their winning runs to world record levels.

All three of those streaks have been halted by Australia, and the stalemate in rainy Sydney conditions showed that the bulk of pre-match predictions were wrong on most counts.

The All Blacks were not able to gain much dominance up front, while the Wallabies potential promise of sparkling attack out wide never came to fruition.

However the conditions had a significant say on how the match was played out.

The defending champions had the better of most of the first half, finishing halftime with a 9-3 lead.

The first half saw the All Blacks back row click into menacing form, with Jerome Kaino punishing on defence, while Kieran Read was roaming with notable effect.

Yet Wyatt Crockett would be sent from the field in the closing of the opening stanza, but for the most part the visitors were able to hold the Wallabies out who came out in the second half with much more purpose.

Cruden would strike over another in the second 40 minutes, but the All Blacks would not be able to click their attack into gear.

The World Champions would score only three more points in the second half.







It didn’t help that backline kingpin Ma’a Nonu left the field.

This robbed the All Blacks of 92 Tests worth of experience, a blow considering the team already was without 77-Test centre Conrad Smith.

The home side would have the edge in proceedings even if this didn’t translate to the scoreboard, and when New Zealand received their second yellow card, the massive crowd at ANZ Stadium sniffed an upset.

As Beauden Barrett left the field, leaving the All Blacks with no recognised goal kicker or first five, Australia kept up the pressure.

The defence of both sides was epic, but in the end New Zealand’s desperate attempts in the dying minutes came to nothing.

As the commentators, captains and coaches remarked after the match, there was an odd feeling after the game, but in the wrap up the All Blacks did gain a draw on Australian soil, giving them a slight advantage in the Bledisloe Cup series for 2014.

"It's a bit of a funny feeling really," McCaw said.

Steve Hansen was gracious towards the Wallabies, saying that they had played well enough to win.