All Blacks outlast Wallabies to sweep series Bledisloe Cup series
The All Blacks and the Wallabies got together for the final round of the 2013 Bledisloe Cup, and produced a masterpiece of attacking rugby, with the All Blacks running away 41-33 winners to sweep the series.
If you were looking for any defensive slugfest, this was not the game for you. There have been low scoring, defensive affairs before, just not this one. Both teams gave as good as they took; and the Wallabies, who at one point seemed overmatched, managed to stay within striking distance until New Zealand pulled away late.
The moment that probably turned the game on its heels, if for only a little bit, was the Adam Ashley-Cooper's try right at the half. Instead of an 18 point deficit to start the second half, that try - and Quade Cooper's ensuing conversion - kept the Wallabies in the game.
It would be really difficult to pick just one player for "Man of the Match" honors. For New Zealand, I'd have to start with fullback Israel Dagg. He was involved in all their try-scoring plays in the first half; always knowing when to pop up in attack, and set up the open man for the score. For Australia, the tip of the hat goes to Quade Cooper, and Tevita Kuridrani. Cooper was in fine form from the boot, accounting for 21 (4 penalties, 3 conversions, 1 drop goal) of the Wallabies' 33 points. Kuridrani was relentless in challenging the defensive line, often meeting with success.
Next up for both these teams is the end-of-year tours to cap the fixtures on the international calendar, before they get to do it all again next year.