Australia vs New Zealand LIVE: Rugby Championship result as All Blacks controversially win thriller

·44-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jordie Barrett grabbed a try after the siren as the All Blacks edged Australia 39-37 in a Melbourne classic to win the Bledisloe Cup for a 20th year in succession and move a step closer to back-to-back Rugby Championship crowns.

In a controversial finish at Marvel Stadium, French referee Mathieu Raynal took the ball off Australia scrum-half Nic White for time-wasting as he was poised to kick the ball clear from defence with Australia holding a three-point lead. Gifted possession, the All Blacks spread the ball wide to Barrett who crossed in the left corner to secure the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup that the All Blacks have held since 2003 with a match to spare.

In a clash featuring four yellow cards - three given to the hosts All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho grabbed a try at the start of both halves, while fly-half Richie Mo’unga and Will Jordan also crossed in a three-minute burst after the break.

The Wallabies rallied bravely with a late brace of tries by winger Andrew Kellaway and Pete Samu nearly brought the roof down with a stunning try assisted by Marika Koroibete in the 73rd minute before White pushed the Wallabies ahead with a long-range penalty before the late drama.

Relive the action from the contest with our live blog below:

Australia vs New Zealand live updates

  • FULL-TIME! Australia 37-39 New Zealand - All Blacks win thriller in controversial circumstances

  • 80’ - TRY! Jordie Barrett dramatically and controversially wins it for New Zealand at the death (AUS 37-39 NZL)

  • 77’ - PENALTY! White nails a long-range penalty to put Australia ahead (AUS 37-34 NZL)

  • 73’ - TRY! Samu scores in the corner and Foley nails the touchline conversion to level it (AUS 34-34 NZL)

  • 71’ - PENALTY! Mo’unga slots one to put the All Blacks 7 points in front (AUS 27-34 NZL)

  • 67’ - TRY! Kellaway goes over for a second score to close the gap (AUS 27-31 NZL)

  • 62’ - TRY! Kellaway scythes through after Foley offload (AUS 20-31 NZL)

  • 56’ - TRY! Jordan collects Barrett’s chip and accelerates for the bonus-point try (AUS 13-31 NZL)

  • 53’ - TRY! Lovely Mo’unga show and go extends the All Blacks lead (AUS 13-24 NZL)

  • 41’ - TRY! Taukei’aho powers over for his second try (AUS 10-17 NZL)

  • 26’ - TRY! Valenti crashes over from close range (AUS 10-10 NZL)

  • 4’ - TRY! Taukei’aho driven over in the corner (AUS 0-7 NZL)

New Zealand beat Australia to retain the Bledisloe Cup

13:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Thankfully, we have two days to recover from, well, everything that happened in Melbourne tonight, with Argentina and South Africa closing the fifth round of the Rugby Championship on Saturday. These two sides have nine days to lick their wounds and get ready to go again for the sequel across the Tasman - what more could they possibly conjure for us in Auckland?

We’ll have plenty of reaction to New Zealand’s dramatic win over the next few days across The Independent but, for now, farewell, and thank you for joining us!

Mathieu Raynal’s controversial decision

13:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It should be noted that Mathieu Raynal had, I think, thrice told Bernard Foley that he musn’t dally with his kick for touch, and this came after the French referee had both stopped and restarted the clock. Still, you fancy this will provoke plenty of debate...

New Zealand beat Australia to retain the Bledisloe Cup

13:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Those final moments will dominate the headlines but I reckon Darcy Swain’s yellow for targeting the knee of Quinn Tupaea will also be heavily scrutinised - was the level of sanction appropriate for what appeared to be a malicious act? Best wishes to Tupaea, and, indeed, all those who left the field injured during a pretty brutal contest.

James Slipper’s post-match comments suggested he fears his calf injury might rule him out of the reutrn fixture in nine days in Auckland, and assuming Sam Cane fails his post-match HIA, he’ll be out, too, with a mandatory 12-day stand down period - both Australia and New Zealand could have new skippers for that Eden Park encounter.

New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup

13:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

So much to talk about from that encounter. Australia looked out of it when New Zealand moved into a 31-13 lead on the hour, but rallied superbly and looked to have perhaps sealed it when Lalakai Foketi earned a crucial holding-on penalty metres from his own line with 90 seconds left. But Mathieu Raynal intervened when Bernard Foley took too long to kick for touch, and New Zealand, unsurprisingly, took advantage.

It felt an odd call from Raynal, correct in law but rarely in practice - fair play to the referee for having the steel to make the decision having urged Foley to get a move on, but Australia will have questions.

A dejected, and perhaps confused, looking Australia captain James Slipper

13:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Absolutely gutted. I actually don’t know what to say. We just fell short there. It is probably the most gutting way to finish a game in my opinion.

“It was hard to see from where I was on the bench but I felt like we had the momentum there in that last 20 minutes. Look, the All Blacks are a good team and when you play the All Blacks you have to make everything count and take your opportuntities. Everything in that last 20 minutes was in our hands and we blew it.

“We’ve got to back up next week and go over to Auckland. It is going to take a while to get over this one. I felt the calf go about ten minutes into the game so it was a pretty tough one for me. We are confident whoever is playing out there at the time. Tonight was a close finish - we just need to get it done.”

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(Getty Images)

F/T: Australia 37-39 New Zealand - Sam Whitelock reacts to a dramatic win for the All Blacks

13:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

”It’s an amazing game, both teams had a never-say-die attitude. It could have gone either way. It’s awesome when an outside back scores in the corner to win the game.

“I think if you look at both sides there is a lot of ice on people, guys on crutches and with headaches - it is always physical, always hard. It’s a good job this game is on a Thursday, the guys are going to need a bit of time to recover and rest, both sides I think, but I’m looking forward to getting home and playing in Auckland.”

FULL TIME! AUSTRALIA 37-39 NEW ZEALAND

13:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Blimey. Where to even begin? Nic White marches over to Mathieu Raynal, demanding a longer explanation of that decision at the end to award New Zealand a scrum after Bernard Foley waited to kick for touch. Raynal briefly explains again before departing down the tunnel to the boos of the home crowd.

The All Blacks retain the Bledisloe Cup. Somehow.

FULL TIME! AUSTRALIA 37-39 NEW ZEALAND

12:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

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(Getty Images)

TRY! Australia 37-39 NEW ZEALAND (JORDIE BARRETT TRY, 81 MINUTES)

12:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

BUT JORDIE BARRETT WINS IT FOR NEW ZEALAND IN THE CORNER! A REMARKABLE FINISH TO A REMARKABLE GAME AND THE ALL BLACKS SNATCH IT AT THE DEATH!

New Zealand can spread it with the advantage safely in the pocket beneath the posts. Richie Mo’unga feeds Will Jordan, who draws two defenders and somehow still squirms away to chuck an offload into the hands of Barrett, who has enough space to his outside to cross despite Marika Koroibete’s desperate tackle attempt.

Australia 37-34 New Zealand, 80 minutes

12:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Safe possession for New Zealand. Akira Ioane punches around the corner. Here come the forwards - penalty advantage. There will be at least a chance for a draw...

Australia 37-34 New Zealand, 79 minutes

12:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What has happened here? It will be a New Zealand scrum! Mathieu Raynal loses patience at Bernard Foley’s time-wasting!

The clock was off, and Raynal told Foley to play immediately when he restarted things. Foley fails to heed Raynal’s warning - New Zealand have a last chance!

Australia 37-34 New Zealand, 79 minutes

12:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty to Australia on their own line! Lalakai Foketi takes the plaudits of his teammates, who somehow managed to fell New Zealand’s maul legally. Foketi gets over the top and wins a holding on penalty - does that seal it for Australia?

Australia 37-34 New Zealand, 78 minutes

12:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Blimey - this game is all over the place, and Australia are penalised! An aimless carry, a clearer sealing off - and New Zealand kick into the corner to seek a winning score...

PENALTY! AUSTRALIA 37-34 New Zealand (Nic White penalty, 77 minutes)

12:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

With room to spare! Nic White bisects the uprights - Australia lead by three with three minutes left.

Australia 34-34 New Zealand, 76 minutes

12:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty to Australia! The crowd roar the roof off of Marvel Stadium as Rob Valetini anchors over the ball in perfect jackaling form, Mathieu Raynal’s whistle granting Australia the chance to take the lead having trailed by 18 points on the hour.

It’s slightly too far out for Bernard Foley - but Nic White fancies a go...

TRY! AUSTRALIA 34-34 New Zealand (Pete Samu try, 73 minutes)

12:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

My oh my! What a score from Australia! This game just keeps on giving...

Australia hit back immediately. Nic White goes blind, New Zealand again to narrow, allowing Pete Samu to get on the outside of Will Jordan. The flanker, who has been everywhere tonight, fends away Jordan and finds Marika Koroibete on the inside, keeping his legs chugging to collect Koroibete’s return and hustle into the corner.

Bernard Foley’s conversion is a toughie...but it is over! It’s all square!

PENALTY! Australia 27-34 NEW ZEALAND (Richie Mo’unga penalty, 71 minutes)

12:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A nerveless strike from Richie Mo’unga, on the line of the right-hand post and 45 metres or so from goal. It follows the intended flight plan.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Australia 27-31 New Zealand, 70 minutes

12:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This has been some sort of entertainment for the Thursday night Melbourne crowd. New Zealand have just lost their way a bit so go back to basics, Jordie Barrett using his large frame to win the gainline on the crash ball from a fizzed, flat Aaron Smith pass.

Australia are penalised; Richie Mo’unga will look to extend the All Blacks’ advantage.

TRY! AUSTRALIA 27-31 New Zealand (Andrew Kellaway try, 67 minutes)

12:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two tries in five minutes for Andrew Kellaway and Australia are coming roaring back!

New Zealand stall the maul, forcing Australia to spin it. And the Wallabies spin it in style, Caleb Clarke getting too narrow and allowing Bernard Foley to lift a delectable miss ball to Kellaway on the outside arc. The full-back puts his foot down and slides over, making certain with the grounding after his first-half error.

The conversion is...there! Australia are back to within four points.

Australia 20-31 New Zealand, 65 minutes

12:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Mathieu Raynal whistles his disapproval again, this time at the lineout - Sam Whitelock was thrown across into the Australian maul. Bernard Foley kicks his side 15 metres further up the left touchline. Folau Fainga’a will throw the five-metre lineout.

Australia 20-31 New Zealand, 64 minutes

12:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hmm - a pretty sloppy moment from Richie Mo’unga, sending his restart inexplicably out on the full by some distance.

Both benches are close to emptied - Nic White waits to feed the Australian scrum but won’t get the chance as Fletcher Newell begins his drive too soon. New Zealand’s replacement tighthead is penalised.

TRY! AUSTRALIA 20-31 New Zealand (Andrew Kellaway try, 62 minutes)

12:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A much-needed Australia try! A moment of brilliance from Bernard Foley. There appears little on with New Zealand numbered up and the fly-half short of support, but Foley attacks the line, bursting between two tacklers to make a half-break and free his arms.

Kellaway arrives with ideal timing to collect a very flat offload and hurry over. Australian hopes lift.

Australia 13-31 New Zealand, 60 minutes

12:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand are purring. The All Blacks look to be making a mess of clearing their lines but switch into attacking mode in an instant, Jordie Barrett spotting Caleb Clarke all alone with chalk on his heels on the left. Barrett’s cross-kick is perfectly placed for Clarke to take and charge on, but the wing doesn’t quite combine as he might have done with Rieko Ioane and is forced to knock-on by Andrew Kellaway, defending well. Australia will be back to 15 in about a minute.

Australia 13-31 New Zealand, 58 minutes

12:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The lineout goes awry! Tail ball from the recovered Fainga’a, but off the fingertips of a lifted Pete Samu.

Australia 13-31 New Zealand, 58 minutes

12:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Folau Fainga’a lies on his back receiving treatment after being dragged out of a maul and dumped on his back by Tyrel Lomax. Mathieu Raynal penalises the New Zealand prop, but decides there is no more sanction needed with Lomax just about managing to ensure Fainga’a came down on his back.

Still, a chance for Australia to hit back. Bernard Foley kicks into the New Zealand 22.

TRY! Australia 13-31 NEW ZEALAND (Will Jordan try, 56 minutes)

12:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A superb All Blacks score! With three playmakers on the pitch there are options aplenty for the New Zealand attack. Beauden Barrett steps up into the line with Will Jordan in the sidecar, the replacement lifting a dainty little chip for Jordan to rush on to and take.

Jordan is past Andrew Kellaway in a flash with a jab off the left foot, and has the toe to get away from a chasing Marika Koroibete. The conversion extends New Zealand’s advantage.

Australia 13-24 New Zealand, 54 minutes

12:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two fine high claims from the All Blacks, first Caleb Clarke on the left and then Will Jordan on the right. Jordan falls awkwardly over Marika Koroibete - a penalty coming, but New Zealand might just make the most of the advantage...

TRY! Australia 13-24 NEW ZEALAND (Richie Mo’unga try, 53 minutes)

12:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Richie Mo’unga steps his way through! Smart from the All Blacks, tying in the bodies from the lineout with Samisoni Taukei’aho again playing a prominent role. Jordie Barrett plays the pivot at first receiver with Richie Mo’unga, as he is wont, dancing around the back, taking the pass and shimmying his way to the line, surviving Marika Koroibete’s muscular challenge to ground safely.

Over goes the conversion, too.

YELLOW CARD! Jake Gordon is sent to the sin bin! Australia 13-17 New Zealand, 51 minutes

12:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A third yellow for Australia! New Zealand’s maul leaves the station at speed and there is plenty of coal in the engine, Jake Gordon unintentionally knocking it off the tracks as he is rather buffeted backward by it. Mathieu Raynal goes to his pocket with Gordon deemed to have collapsed it - a fair enough call, though Gordon maintains his innocence.

Australia 13-17 New Zealand, 49 minutes

12:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A scrappy period follows the penalty as Australia reshape after being restored to 15. New Zealand fumble a high kick before Marika Koroibete returns the favour, his mishandle made rather worse but a horribly aimless dart towards the touchline just outside his own 22. He is cut down and forced to hold on - New Zealand kick for touch.

PENALTY! AUSTRALIA 13-17 New Zealand (Bernard Foley penalty, 48 minutes)

12:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A second penalty of the night for Bernard Foley to narrow the gap to four.

Australia 10-17 New Zealand, 46 minutes

12:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two bits of positive news for Australia - Marika Koroibete wins a kickable penalty at the breakdown, and, as Bernard Foley takes the tee, both Tom Wright and Darcy Swain are permitted to return from the sin bin.

Australia 10-17 New Zealand, 44 minutes

12:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia’s skipper has not re-emerged - James Slipper has suffered a calf injury and Scott Sio is on at loosehead.

New Zealand nearly go the length! No dallying in their own territory form the All Blacks, getting it wide again as quickly as they can. Rieko Ioane finds the fissure and busts it open with four men in support, but Hoskins Sotutu curiously opts to chip ahead rather than keep ball in hand, to the frustration of his teammates. Ioane is then picked up for a high tackle as New Zealand again try to counter-ruck to win the ball back - a chance missed, really.

TRY! Australia 10-17 NEW ZEALAND (Samisoni Taukei’aho try, 42 minutes)

12:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No denying Samisoni Taukei’aho this time! You felt that New Zealand would come charging out of the gates with a two-man advantage and that is the perfect start to the half, a forthright counter-ruck earning possession and Aaron Smith sharply spinning the ball to the left.

Ethan de Groot produces a fizzing wide ball for Brodie Rettallick, who straightens and draws a defender, sending Taueki’aho onwards. There is support to the hooker’s outside but he needs no assistance, bashing between the bodies to score his second. Richie Mo’unga converts.

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 41 minutes

12:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand fancy a look at Australia’s outside defence early in the second half, a crossfield kick finding Will Jordan on the right.

He chips ahead and the bounce is nasty for Andrew Kellaway. The All Blacks come charging through and turnover the ball inside the Australia 22...

Back out there...

12:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia’s 13 men follow New Zealand’s full complement out on to the Marvel Stadium surface. Remember that New Zealand now have Jordie Barrett stationed at second five-eighth alongside Rieko Ioane in the centres, with brother Beauden at full-back.

Bernard Foley will get things back underway.

H/T: Australia 10-10 New Zealand

12:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

One of the reasons that rugby’s law book avoids mention of intent wherever possible is because it can be hard to gauge, and slow motion can make incidents look worse, but Darcy Swain’s attack of Quinn Tupaea’s knee really did look quite malicious. One hopes that Tupaea is not as badly injured as he appeared to be - the manner in which he was carried off suggested cruciate ligament damage.

I’d say Swain was pretty lucky to only see yellow.

H/T: Australia 10-10 New Zealand

12:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ten apiece, then, at the interval after a half packed with drama. Australia will be rather more pleased, you feel, having started poorly and dropped to 13 players for the final five minutes of the half. It’s been a pretty attritional contest - Australia have lost Rob Leota, but New Zealand have lost Sam Cane, David Havili and Quinn Tupaea, the latter after what appeared to be a rather horirble targeting of the knee by Darcy Swain.

Swain and Tom Wright remain in the sin bin for the first five minutes or so of the second half - it’s felt like New Zealand may be close to opening Australia up a few times during that first 40 minutes and I’d imagine the directive from Ian Foster will be to come out fast after the restart.

HALF TIME! Australia 10-10 New Zealand

11:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 40 minutes

11:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia are forced to set a scrum as the half-time hooter blares, with New Zealand eyeing another sizeable push against the under-resourced Wallaby pack. But the All Blacks start shunting too soon - a free kick allows Jake Gordon a tap and punt into touch to send everyone down the tunnel.

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 39 minutes

11:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The All Blacks butcher a chance! An atypically muddled bit of backs play from New Zealand after their forwards win a turnover by dismantling the seven-man Australian scrum. Rieko Ioane gets the timing of his pass to Beauden Barrett wrong, and the replacement knocks on, before Ioane compounds the error by playing the ball from an offside position.

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 38 minutes

11:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Quinn Tupaea already has some strapping on his knee - you fear that could be a rather nasty injury for the centre, who looks in real discomfort as he is helped down the tunnel. Beauden Barrett has come on, which means New Zealand have re-shaped their backline - Jordie Barrett steps in to inside centre having spent plenty of time there for the Hurricanes this year.

Sam Cane won’t be returning, by the way, having failed his HIA - Dalton Papali’i is on for what remains.

NO TRY! Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 37 minutes

11:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Knocked on! Taukei’aho looked certain to score after another powerful New Zealand drive but Jake Gordon managed to get underneath the hooker and prevent him grounding, forcing a knock on from Taukei’aho.

Try? Has Samisoni Taukei’aho got his second?

11:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ben Whitehouse is having a busy couple of minutes and the TMO will be consulted again...

YELLOW CARD! Darcy Swain is sent to the sin bin! Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 36 minutes

11:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ooh, that is ugly! Really, really ugly. Tupaea’s leg is trapped and he is already grappling with two Australians when Swain arrives from the side, driving a shoulder into the outside of the replacement New Zealand centre’s knee.

Swain is sent to the sin bin as Tupaea is helped off. Dalton Papali’i returns from his period on the naughty step - it’ll be 15 against 13 for the next ten minutes.

TMO check! Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 36 minutes

11:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There is something else that TMO Ben Whitehouse wants to look at, though - Quinn Tupaea is in some pain and receiving treatment, and Whitehouse thinks that Darcy Swain, just on the field, might have targeted Tupaea’s knee.

YELLOW CARD! Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 36 minutes

11:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That is the danger of the All Blacks! Moments after their goal line stand they are on the attack, Caleb Clarke found on the inside and cantering into open pasture. He can’t quite find supporting runners eyeing their own gallop for the line, and Tom Wright eventually brings him down.

But Wright fails to vacate the ruck swiftly enough and he may be in trouble here. A yellow card for Wright after slowing the ball down with New Zealand looking to sweep the ball out to the right.

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 34 minutes

11:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What defence from New Zealand! Australia retreive their enforcers and batter on the door with a succession of heavy carries, Len Ikitau, Rob Valetini, Pete Samu and Jake Gordon all within a metre of the line but somehow repelled.

And a penalty to the visitors! Quinn Tupaea makes a tackle and bounces back to his feet, showing a clear enough release to please the referee and ensure New Zealand survive.

Off goes Rob Leota, who injured himself early in that movement. Darcy Swain replaces him with Jed Holloway presumably sliding back into the back row.

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 32 minutes

11:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But Australia won’t mind a scrum against an under-powered New Zealand unit of seven. Dave Porecki screams in the face of his opposite number Samisoni Taukei’aho after James Slipper is rewarded for his efforts with a penalty. Back into that profitable right-hand corner go the Wallabies.

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 30 minutes

11:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That hit has amped up Koroibete, supercharger whirring again as he dismisses three would-be tacklers on a meander through a disjointed New Zealand chase. Spaces begin to appear on the right after Koroibete is belatedly shackled, but a loose bit of handling means Australia can’t quite make the most of it.

Australia 10-10 New Zealand, 29 minutes

11:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Melbourne crowd have lifted with the Wallabies, roaring as Valetini leads the way again in a powerful counter-ruck to earn a scrum.

And off goes Pete Samu! A dynamite break from the openside, teleporting out of a midfield maul and through a great gaping hole. Bernard Foley chips in behind and Marika Koroibete hammers into Jordie Barrett, who does rather well to survive the contact with both the ball and his ribs intact.

New Zealand clear but Australia’s intensity has properly lifted.

TRY! AUSTRALIA 10-10 New Zealand (Rob Valetini try, 26 minutes)

11:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rob Valetini bashes his way through! Australia’s maul does get moving, making rapid progress up the right, it’s merry roll to the line only halted by Dalton Papali’i’s collapse.

Advantage is, therefore, coming, and Australia waste little time capitalising, Jake Gordon flicking the ball up for Valetini, who thumps a shoulder through Ethan de Groot’s tackle attempt to score.

Bernard Foley adds the extra two and New Zealand will drop to 14 players. Dalton Papali’i is quite rightly sent to the sin bin for his role in folding that maul, and off he goes for a ten-minute sit down.

Australia 3-10 New Zealand, 25 minutes

11:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Set-piece joy for Australia! Another relatively messy scrum ends with both front rows on the deck, with New Zealand deemed to be the cause of the collapse.

Australia kick towards the corner, and New Zealand close the gap for a second time. Another penalty - another prod for the touchline with Australia intent on driving for the line.

Australia 3-10 New Zealand, 24 minutes

11:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

David Havili has failed his HIA, which means Quinn Tupaea is with us for the duration. And there’s another HIA required - Sam Cane is heading down the tunnel, with Dalton Papali’i taking the All Blacks skipper’s place on the openside as New Zealand prepare to set a scrum. Sam Whitelock, one presumes, takes over the captaincy.

NO TRY! Australia 3-10 New Zealand, 22 minutes

11:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Can you believe that? Kellaway seemed a cert to score as he burst away on the outside after Australia manipulated an overlap, but Ioane showed incredible make-up speed to grab a hold of the full-back as he tried to slide over. Kellaway should still score, with no All Black hands beneath the ball as he crosses, but he never actually quite manages to brush a blade of grass. Richie Mo’unga arrives to support Ioane to then turtle the Australian, who thinks he has already scored, but the replays are conclusive - no try!

Try? Has Andrew Kellaway crossed in the corner?

11:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We are going upstairs for a look! Sharp handling from Australia to shift the ball out to the right but Kellaway might just have been held up by a brilliant cover tackle from Rieko Ioane...

Australia 3-10 New Zealand, 21 minutes

11:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand can’t escape their own territory, though, clearing only to the edge of their own 22. They are then free kicked for closing the gap at the lineout - Jake Gordon is off and away rapidly and Australia begin to build.

Australia 3-10 New Zealand, 19 minutes

11:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A lucky break for Australia as a wretched box kick from Jake Gordon tumbles down into open space and then hops for the outstetched arms of Rob Valetini to gather. Valetini unfurls a left-footed kick of his own up the left, and Marika Koroibete might just have had a shot in the race to get to it had it not hopped along the touchline.

PENALTY! AUSTRALIA 3-10 New Zealand (Bernard Foley penalty, 18 minutes)

11:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Indeed they are. The simplest of starters for the returning Australia fly-half.

Australia 0-10 New Zealand, 17 minutes

11:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Delightful lineout move from Australia, a long throw from Dave Porecki over the top to a fading Pete Samu, who has his pick of runners to his outside. He picks Tom Wright out the back of a dummy runner, and Wright scythes into a gap, brushing off Quinn Tupaea.

New Zealand eventually bring Wright down five out, but are penalised. Australia can’t capitalise on the advantage but will surely be on the board via Bernard Foley’s right boot.

Australia 0-10 New Zealand, 16 minutes

11:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Crucial intervention from Rob Leota! New Zealand’s lineout is messy but a bouncing ball creates space for Caleb Clarke, who is up through the gears quickly and well halted as he accelerates towards full gas. Leota arrives in a timely manner as Clarke is felled, snatching the ball from the ruck before the All Blacks can recycle and explore the possibilities apparent on the right-hand side.

Australia kick in behind, and force New Zealand into a shallow clearance. Good attacking ball for the home side.

Australia 0-10 New Zealand, 15 minutes

11:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The All Blacks are fizzing here. Lovely play at the line sees Sam Cane pull back late for Richie Mo’unga, who puts a shimmy on a broad bloke to open a half-hole. Brodie Retallick can’t quite take an offload cleanly and Australia manage to clear.

Australia 0-10 New Zealand, 14 minutes

11:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty number five against Australia! Will Jordan gets over the top of the ball and draws a holding on call.

That will be a worry for New Zealand, though - David Havili is being led off by a medic after an awkward clash of heads with a teammate. He’ll have a head injury assessment - Quinn Tupaea is on, perhaps temporarily.

Australia 0-10 New Zealand, 13 minutes

11:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Better from Australia, who have had less than 10% of possession so far. Rob Valetini makes a firm tackle and Australia hold firm on the gainline, putting pressure on New Zealand’s exit. Richie Mo’unga boots into touch up near his own ten-metre line.

PENALTY! Australia 0-10 NEW ZEALAND (Richie Mo’unga penalty, 12 minutes)

11:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Perhaps not Richie Mo’unga’s cleanest strike, but a competent enough kick to extend New Zealand’s early lead.

Australia 0-7 New Zealand, 10 minutes

11:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A second jaunty little clip over the defensive line from Richie Mo’unga, this time better handled by the Australian backfield. But the Wallabies’ return is slightly aimless, and back come the All Blacks.

James Slipper makes a mess of a New Zealand ruck in midfield, but illegally so, tumbling in from the side having detached from the tackle. A second whistling of the Australian skipper in the last couple of minutes, and a chance for Richie Mo’unga to succeed from the tee where his teammate failed.

Missed penalty! Australia 0-7 New Zealand, 9 minutes

11:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No good from Barrett, perhaps guilty of slightly over-kicking it as he tried to force it through from 45 metres on the angle on the left.

Australia 0-7 New Zealand, 7 minutes

11:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another penalty against Australia, this time at the scrum - James Slipper stands up under the pressure of Tyrel Lomax, who had appeared to have lost his bind, and is quickly whistled for the infringement as the Australian scrum starts to be forced into retreat.

Slipper shakes his head as Jordie Barrett calls for the tee...

Australia 0-7 New Zealand, 6 minutes

11:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand get their restart drill spot on, Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock each making metres in the carry.

And that’s another Australia error! Bernard Foley can’t gather Richie Mo’unga’s up and under as he misreads the flight of the ball.

Nearly for the All Blacks! A deft chip bounces favourably for Caleb Clarke, who tries to transfer inside but can’t quite connect with two waiting teammates. Australia survive but New Zealand have started rather well.

TRY! Australia 0-7 NEW ZEALAND (Samisoni Taukei’aho try, 4 minutes)

11:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And over the rumbling mass goes to put New Zealand ahead! A clinical opening four minutes from the All Blacks, Samisoni Taukei’aho hitting his jumper in the middle and sweeping to the back of the maul.

David Havili and Will Jordan lend their weight to ensure the drive keeps chugging, and Aaron Smith makes sure that his hooker’s boots are safely aware from the touchline, whooping his approval as Taukei’aho flops down in the corner.

Richie Mo’unga converts brilliantly from the right, kissing the inside of the upright.

Australia 0-0 New Zealand, 3 minutes

11:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nifty front-of-the-lineout move from New Zealand, Sam Cane biffing close with Aaron Smith an option on the touchline. Australia infringe again...and Ethan de Groot is held up over the line. Back into the corner the All Blacks go, this time for a drive.

Australia 0-0 New Zealand, 2 minutes

11:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That isn’t too flash, either. Australia penalised for offside after advancing before the lineout is over and maul formed. New Zealand opt for the corner...

Australia 0-0 New Zealand, 1 minute

11:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rough start from Australia! Jed Holloway is hoisted high to try and claim the opening kick-off but can’t gather it, and Marika Koroibete can’t prevent it tumbling into touch. New Zealand lineout on the fringes of the Australian 22.

Here we go

10:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Mathieu Raynal has the whistle in Melbourne this evening, with Ben Whitehouse in the TMO truck ready to assist when necessary.

Richie Mo’unga will get things started. He drops ball to right toe and off we go!

Haka

10:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Wallabies assembled themselves in the shape of a boomerang to face the Haka, James Slipper at the head, facing up to Sam Cane and leading his side in a forward march. New Zealand step forward to meet them, looking deep into the Australian eyes that stare them down.

Anthems

10:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A decent number of New Zealand fans have hopped across the Tasman, making themselves known during the rendition of “God Defend New Zealand”. The three Barrett brothers stand arm-in-arm next to skipper and vice-captain Sam Cane and Sam Whitelock at the end of the line.

The rest of the crowd join in with a pleasant singing of “Advance Australia Fair”.

Welcome to Country and moment of silence

10:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Uncle Tony Garvey, a Wurundjeri elder, delivers the Welcome to Country. “May the best team win,” he signs off, to warm applause from the crowd.

Marvel Stadium then falls silent in memory of Queen Elizabeth II, with footage shown of the late monarch greeting some of the past greats of this rivalry.

James Slipper leads Australia

10:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

With the roof closed, it should be a good night for running rugby, and the Australian side trot out purposefully. Marika Koroibete nods his head as he stands in line to wait for the pre-game ceremonies, taking in the occasion of his 50th cap with a tear in the eye.

Out come the teams

10:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The All Blacks stride out of the sheds, led by a determined Sam Cane. Jordie Barrett takes a last moment to compose himself and check his shoelaces before he exits.

Out they come into the Marvel Stadium glare as the crowd prepares to greet their Wallabies.

Australia vs New Zealand

10:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not too long until kick-off in Melbourne under the roof at Marvel Stadium, which has filled rather nicely for a first midweek trans-Tasman men’s Test in 28 years.

All smiles...

10:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A friendly catch-up between Dave Rennie and Ian Foster ahead of kick-off in Melbourne - the pair have been knocking about in similar coaching circles for the last two decades or so. Rennie, of course, succeeded Foster at the Chiefs in 2012, leading the Waikato-based side to the Super Rugby crown in his first season.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Can New Zealand build on Argentina win?

10:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Are New Zealand’s woes behind them? Their performance last time out against Argentina was the most fluent they have looked for a good while, and the unchanged backline combinations appear to be settling in together. I thought David Havili and Rieko Ioane were excellent in Hamilton, and you’d fancy Richie Mo’unga to pick some holes in a new Australian midfield.

With no Ardie Savea or Shannon Frizell, balancing the carrying load is going to be key for the All Blacks in attack - Hoskins Sotutu’s count will most likely be high but I think we may also see more of Caleb Clarke roaming off his wing early in the phase to try and give New Zealand some gainline punch.

Australia hopeful of Bledisloe success

10:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

As ever, plenty to ponder for rugby’s administrators. On the field, though, this should be a lot of fun - New Zealand got their smile back with that thrashing of Argentina two weeks ago but Australia will be confident they can burst that bubble of optimism in front of a home crowd. It is a properly dynamic Australian side - it will be fascinating to see how Rob Leota and Pete Samu are utilised after the somewhat surprising omission of Fraser McReight from the starting side.

Bernard Foley’s inclusion is intriguing, too, something of an anachronism in a team that looked like it had moved on from the veteran ten, but with plenty of big-game experience. He hasn’t always thrived against the All Blacks, but he will know he may not have too many chances to properly force his way back into the picture.

It should be a special night for Marika Koroibete - the all-action wing raises his bat as he reaches 50 appearances in an Australia shirt.

Rugby Australia chairman confirms they would be willing to walk away from Super Rugby Pacific

10:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hamish McLennan also had a chat to day about Rugby Australia’s plans for the future domestically, revisiting a previously mooted idea of splitting from New Zealand and Super Rugby Pacific and go it alone as the governing body looks to improve on-field fortunes and build towards an exciting decade or so of major tournaments and tourists. McLennan does not wish to play “second fiddle” to their friends/foes (delete as appropriate) across the Tasman, even if he feels that, for now, a continuing partnership may be the “better” option.

“It is (a real option), we wouldn’t have said it if we weren’t real,” McLennan said.

“There’s no doubt, we’ve said it publicly, that the high performance outcomes would probably be better with New Zealand in the mix.

“But we’re not going to play second fiddle so time will tell if we’re bluffing.

“But they know we’re serious - we’ve got the backing of our member unions, Super Rugby club chairs and Channel 9 to go domestic.

“And look, we haven’t won a Bledisloe in 20 years so who’s to say that a domestic competition wouldn’t deliver more money to Rugby Australia and possibly, with more teams and more players, better high performance outcomes.”

Dave Rennie backed to lead Australia to the World Cup

10:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This has been a summer of unequivocal backing for under-fire international head coaches, with Eddie Jones and Ian Foster given votes of confidence from their respective boards after periods of pressure. Add Dave Rennie to the list of leaders backed through to next year’s World Cup in France, with Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan confirming the coach retains the support of RA.

“Yes, absolutely (he will coach through to the World Cup),” he said. “Dave’s done a great job in settling the team down.

“There’s been real progress that’s been made. He’s as frustrated as anyone (with the current results).”

Defeat tonight would see the Wallabies slip to ninth in the world rankings.

But a full house expected

10:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But Thursday night rugby has proved popular - the suggestions are that we are expecting a sell-out crowd at Docklands Stadium tonight.

Thursday night rugby in Melbourne

09:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is a rare midweek edition of this trans-Tasman clash, the first encounter between Australia and New Zealand on a weekday in 28 years. Rugby Australia took the decision to shift this fixture to Thursday in April fearing a clash with the pointy end of the NRL and AFL seasons in Melbourne on Saturday, an entirely understandable decision, even if it has since proved unneccessary - the Melbourne Storm are out of the NRL finals after defeat to the Canberra Raiders and the AFL action on Saturday comes from Sydney.

So, if you do fancy some high level men’s sporting action on Saturday night in Melbourne - you’re out of luck!

Australia team news

09:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia fly-half Bernard Foley will play his first Test in three years after Noah Lolesio was ruled out by concussion in one of eight changes for the Wallabies.

Lolesio and centre Hunter Paisami both suffered head knocks in the 24-8 loss to South Africa in Sydney and Lalakai Foketi will win his third cap at inside centre.

In other tweaks to the backline, Andrew Kellaway will play at full-back and Jake Gordon has earned his first start of the season at scrum-half in place of Nic White.

Rory Arnold is unavailable for both Thursday’s match and the return game in Auckland next week as he awaits the birth of his first child, so Jed Holloway shifts from the back row to lock alongside Matt Phillip, while Rob Leota takes Hollway’s place at No 6, Pete Samu gets the start at openside flanker and Dave Porecki is preferred at hooker to Folau Fainga’a.

Australia team: 15. Andrew Kellaway, 14. Tom Wright, 13. Len Ikitau, 12. Lalakai Foketi, 11. Marika Koroibete, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Jake Gordon; 1. James Slipper (captain), 2. Dave Porecki, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Jed Holloway, 5. Matt Philip, 6. Rob Leota, 7. Pete Samu, 8. Rob Valetini.

Replacements: 16. Folau Fainga’a, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Pone Fa’amausili, 19. Darcy Swain, 20. Fraser McReight, 21. Nic White, 22. Reece Hodge, 23. Jordan Petaia

New Zealand team news

09:45 , Luke Baker

Hoskins Sotutu will replace Ardie Savea at No 8 as one of two personnel changes - with a further positional change - to the New Zealand starting 15 that dismantled Argentina 53-3.

Savea, excused from the Test while awaiting the birth of his third child, has been a rock through a difficult season for the All Blacks, and Sotutu has a hard act to follow.

He is part of a reshuffled back row, with Scott Barrett shifting from lock to blindside flanker in place of the injured Shannon Frizell, while Brodie Retallick has been promoted to start in the second row alongside fellow veteran Sam Whitelock.

New Zealand team: 15. Jordie Barrett, 14. Will Jordan, 13. Rieko Ioane, 12. David Havili, 11. Caleb Clarke, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 9. Aaron Smith; 1. Ethan de Groot, 2. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Scott Barrett, 7. Sam Cane (captain), 8. Hoskins Sotutu.

Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17. George Bower, 18. Fletcher Newell, 19. Akira Ioane, 20. Dalton Papali’i, 21. Finlay Christie, 22. Beauden Barrett, 23. Quinn Tupaea

Is Australia vs New Zealand on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch Rugby Championship match

09:37 , Luke Baker

Australia host New Zealand in Melbourne on Thursday in the opening match of the Bledisloe Cup series and penultimate round of the Rugby Championship.

In one of the closest Rugby Championships in years, all four teams head into the final back-to-back matches with a chance of winning the title and separated by just a point.

New Zealand are in the driving seat and would be boosted by a bonus point victory following their 50-point thrashing of Argentina last time out.

Defeat for Australia would end any chance they have of holding the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 20 years.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Is Australia vs New Zealand on TV? Time, channel and how to watch

Australia’s Bernard Foley excited to get ‘one more crack’ at New Zealand

09:26 , Luke Baker

Australia fly-half Bernard Foley has lost plenty of matches to New Zealand, including a World Cup final, but is grateful that one more chance to have a crack at the All Blacks has come out of the blue.

The 33-year-old will play his first Test since the 2019 World Cup in today’s clash with the New Zealanders, which doubles as the penultimate round of the Rugby Championship and the opening match in this year’s Bledisloe Cup series.

Foley has played 15 Tests against the All Blacks, winning two, drawing one and losing the rest.

“I think you definitely look at the games and we had some great battles, had a couple of great wins and tight losses that really stung but that’s just part of the journey,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“You always wished you can get one more crack, one more taste, so for me to be back here is just making the most of it.”

Australia’s Bernard Foley excited to get ‘one more crack’ at New Zealand

Hoskins Sotutu aiming to replace talisman Ardie Savea for the All Blacks

09:14 , Luke Baker

No 8 Hoskins Sotutu will have big shoes to fill as replacement for dynamo Ardie Savea as defending champions New Zealand bid for back-to-back Rugby Championship wins with victory over Australia in Melbourne.

Long shut out of the back row, the 24-year-old Auckland Blue has been recalled for his first test since last November as one of three positional changes to the starting 15 that dismantled Argentina 53-3.

Savea, excused from the test while awaiting the birth of his third child, has been a rock through a difficult season for the All Blacks, and Sotutu knows he has a hard act to follow.

“His preparation is quite second-to-none,” 10-test Sotutu told reporters of Savea. “For him being able to perform really consistently every week is something I find pretty amazing.

“Obviously with Ardie not being it’s pretty big shoes to fill but I’ve just got to do what I do ... Don’t try to over-complicate it and be me.”

New Zealand make three positional changes for Australia clash

All Blacks dominance over Australia drains Bledisloe Cup of its prestige

09:05 , Luke Baker

There was a time when Australia and New Zealand’s battle for the Bledisloe Cup was almost a de facto world championship but nearly two decades of All Blacks dominance has drained the trophy of much of its prestige.

The series’ relevance will again be tested this week as Ian Foster’s team look to seal the trophy for a 20th successive year by beating the Wallabies in Melbourne.

The All Blacks’ stranglehold has long pained Australian fans who pine for the days when the world-beating Wallabies won five Bledisloes in succession from 1998-2002.

The Cup has since come to symbolise Australia’s decline as a rugby power as much as New Zealand’s strength. The narrative has changed slightly this year but not for any Australian improvement.

Dave Rennie’s Wallabies slumped to a record low of eighth in world rankings after an insipid 24-8 home defeat to South Africa in the last round of the Rugby Championship. The difference this year is that the All Blacks are also struggling, losing six of their last nine tests. France, Ireland, South Africa and Argentina have all taken turns to beat the three-times world champions in the past year.

All Blacks dominance over Australia drains Bledisloe Cup of its prestige

The Rugby Championship so far

09:04 , Luke Baker

This is setting up to be one of the all-time great Rugby Championships as the fact that all four teams have their flaws means the title race is as close as it has been for years. In fact, heading into the penultimate round, just one point separates top from bottom.

New Zealand are currently top of the pile on 10 points, with South Africa, Australia and Argentina all lined up behind on 9, as every team has two wins and two losses through four games.

Round 1 saw South Africa down an in-crisis New Zealand 26-10 and Australia dispatch Argentina 41-26 in Mendoza but, a week later, the results were reversed as the All Blacks saved Ian Foster’s job with a 35-23 revenge win and the Pumas hammered the Wallabies 48-17.

Argentina then got their first-ever victory on New Zealand soil in Round 3 thanks to a 25-18 success, while Australia surprised the Springboks to triumph 25-17. However, the tables were again turned in Round 4 as South Africa triumphed 24-8 over the Wallabies and an angry All Blacks side pulverised the Pumas to the tune of 53-3 to leave things incredibly tight heading into the final two rounds.

Australia vs New Zealand

08:56 , Luke Baker

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Australia vs New Zealand in the Rugby Championship, as victory in Melbourne for the All Blacks would move them a step closer to retaining the championship title.

The All Blacks’ 50-point victory over Argentina and South Africa’s win against Australia means all four teams head into the penultimate round separated by just one point in what is proving to be the closest Rugby Championship for years.

The fixture will also be the opening match of the Bledisloe Cup, which Australia have not held in two decades, as the Wallabies have been consistently dominated by their fierce rivals.

Ian Foster’s New Zealand have been vulnerable this season, and are yet to win back-to-back matches this year as the likes of France, Ireland and Argentina have all taken turns beating them, but a bonus-point victory would see them put one hand on the trophy ahead of next week’s return match in Auckland.

Stick with us for full live coverage of the match, which kicks off at 10.45am BST.