Bloomberg News

Australia, New Zealand Seal Rugby Series Sweeps as Scotland Wins

June 23, 2012

Australia beat Wales 20-19 and world champion New Zealand shutout Ireland in a record 60-0 rout to secure 3-0 sweeps of their rugby Test series.

Fly-half Berrick Barnes kicked a penalty goal with five minutes remaining, his fifth of the match at the Sydney Football Stadium, to lift the Wallabies to their seventh straight win over Six Nations champion Wales.

“We got pretty loose in stages and that hurt us, but when our backs were against the wall we found what was needed to get us on top,” Barnes said in a televised interview. “We’ll take the one-pointer that’s for sure.”

Leigh Halfpenny kicked 14 points for Wales, including a penalty with eight minutes left that put the visiting team 19-17 up as it sought a first victory in Australia since 1969. No. 8 Ryan Jones went over from close range for Wales’s try in the 62nd minute before outside center Rob Horne replied for Australia three minutes later.

The Wallabies won the series opener 27-19 before pulling out a 25-23 win last week when Mike Harris kicked a penalty with the last play of the game.

“We had our chances,” Wales blindside flanker Dan Lydiate said. “We put them under a lot of pressure but it still wasn’t good enough and they snuck it.”

The All Blacks, who needed a late Dan Carter drop goal to beat Ireland 22-19 seven days ago, ran in four first-half tries today at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on their way to a 29-0 lead at the break. They added another five tries in the second period and kept Ireland scoreless for the first time in 88 years.

Cane’s Double

Openside flanker Sam Cane went over for the All Blacks’ first and fifth tries on his starting debut and Sonny Bill Williams also touched down twice. Ben Smith, Hosea Gear, Liam Messam, Israel Dagg and Adam Thomson also scored tries.

It was New Zealand’s biggest winning margin in 27 Tests against Ireland, surpassing the 59-6 victory in 1992.

“There was a real pick up in intensity from last week,” All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said in a televised interview. “We were on the job tonight.”

South Africa will try to give southern hemisphere teams a 9-0 record in this month’s best-of-three series when it hosts England later in Port Elizabeth. This year marks a return to three-match contests as rugby administrators seek to make matches more meaningful in the June international period, during which touring northern hemisphere teams have typically sent understrength squads.

Scotland, which upset Australia 9-6 on June 5 and beat Fiji last week, earlier defeated Samoa 17-16 in Apia as flanker Rob Harley marked his debut with a stoppage-time try that was converted by Greig Laidlaw.

It’s the first time Scotland won all three Tests on a southern hemisphere tour.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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