Bloomberg News

Australia, New Zealand Sweep Rugby Series as England Ties

June 23, 2012

Australia beat Wales 20-19 and world champion New Zealand shut out Ireland in a record 60-0 rout to complete 3-0 wins in their rugby Test series. England avoided a sweep with a 14-14 tie in South Africa.

Wallabies fly-half Berrick Barnes kicked a penalty goal with five minutes remaining, his fifth of yesterday’s match at the Sydney Football Stadium, to lift Australia to its 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 eight days ago, ran in four first-half tries 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.”

After losing the first two Tests, England ended its South Africa tour by battling back to draw in rainy Port Elizabeth.

Owen Farrell’s second penalty goal of the game in the 71st minute earned England the tie. He had a chance to win the game with the final kick, though sent his drop-goal attempt wide.

Missed Kicks

Danny Care scored a try for the visiting team and JP Pietersen touched down for the Springboks. Morne Steyn booted three penalties for South Africa, though missed four other kicks including a late drop-goal attempt which drew jeers from the fans at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The draw ended South Africa’s record run of nine straight victories in matches between the teams. The Springboks won the series opener 22-17 and withstood a second-half England rally for a 36-27 triumph last week.

“We wanted to win the game, we wanted to win the series,” England coach Stuart Lancaster told Sky Sports. “But we’ll take some positives home.”

This year marked 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.

France beat Argentina 49-10 in Tucuman to tie their two- game series 1-1 following last week’s 23-20 loss to the Pumas, who will join Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in an expanded southern hemisphere championship later this year.

France fly-half Frederic Michalak, starting his first Test in nearly five years, kicked 19 points, including five conversions as the French ran in six tries to secure a record victory margin in 46 meetings between the teams.

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 reporters on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net; Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

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


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