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Crown pleads to open casino and run ‘working test’ to fix problems


“Many of the matters that the authority may wish to be satisfied about are going to be matters that require a ‘working test’,” Mr Young said during his final submissions.

“Some of them are best addressed in the context of the way in which the casino operates, by way of close oversight [and] review of those operations.”

James Packer's legal team laid the blame for the China arrests at the feet of executives including Barry Felstead, seen here in 2016.

James Packer’s legal team laid the blame for the China arrests at the feet of executives including Barry Felstead, seen here in 2016. Credit:Philip Gostelow

Mr Young said that could include ILGA stationing inspectors on its gaming floors or Crown issuing daily reports to the regulator, which would be followed by in-depth audits and reviews.

ILGA chairman Philip Crawford said on Wednesday the authority would not allow Crown to open the casino until the Bergin inquiry delivers its report, which is due by February.

Under the inquiry’s terms of reference, if Commissioner Bergin finds Crown an unsuitable licence holder she must also report on what – if anything – Crown can do to become suitable.

Mr Young rejected submissions from counsel assisting that Crown should address the “deleterious” influence of its major shareholder James Packer over corporate governance by restricting his board representation and voting power.

Crown’s relationship with Mr Packer, who owns 36 per cent of the company, and his private company Consolidated Press Holdings was now “stock-standard”, Mr Young said, after they tore up agreements allowing the sharing of confidential information and the provision of services to Crown by CPH executives.

Meanwhile on Thursday it was revealed that Crown’s outgoing Australian Resorts chief executive Barry Felstead hired his own legal team to argue against a finding that he failed “without justifiable reason” to alert Crown’s board about China’s crackdown on foreign casinos before 19 employees were arrested there in 2016.

Mr Felstead’s lawyer Joanne Shepard said her client – who is being made redundant after a disastrous appearance at the inquiry earlier this year, and who Mr Packer’s legal team partly blamed for the arrests – was not trying to avoid responsibility for his mistakes, but said they were made in “good faith”.

“The matters now put against Mr Felstead were in fact escalated to board members either by Mr Felstead or by others,” she said.

That included Mr Felstead telling Crown director and CPH executive Michael Johnston about the government crackdown and that police detained and questioned a Crown employee in mid-2015.

Mr Felstead is the second Crown insider, following former director Ben Brazil, to hire their own legal teams in an effort to avoid the inquiry making adverse findings against them.

The year-long inquiry, which was sparked by a series of reports by this masthead last, will conclude its public hearings on Friday with final submissions from counsel assisting.

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Cameron Green is close to a Test debut for Australia but his bowling has to hit the mark for ODIs, says coach Justin Langer



Cameron Green will need to warrant selection as an all-rounder if he is to debut for Australia in their upcoming limited-overs series, but the young gun’s batting alone could soon earn him a baggy green.

Green is the youngest member of Australia’s Test squad, having also been picked in the white-ball squad on the basis of his sparkling Sheffield Shield form.

National selectors are understandably excited about the 21-year-old, who is capable of bowling express pace and recently scored 197 against NSW.

They are equally cautious about his bowling workload.

Green suffered a back-stress fracture a year ago and only recently returned to the bowling crease for Western Australia.

The youngster will slowly but surely step up his workload in the nets while training with the limited-overs squad in Sydney ahead of Australia’s ODI series opener against India on November 27.

“In one-day cricket he’ll only play if he can bowl a few overs because that’s how we’ll set up the team,” national coach Justin Langer said.

“He hasn’t had the white-ball experience to come in as a pure batsman, but he can bowl a few overs, my gosh he becomes a good prospect.

“But Test cricket is different. He’s earned the right to play Test cricket on his batting.

“I love watching him bat. For such a tall batsman, he’s got so much time.”

Langer also heaped praise on uncapped batsman Will Pucovski, who like Green is considered an unlikely starter in the first Test as Australia leans towards backing the incumbent top six.

Green, who legend Greg Chappell described as the best batting talent he’d seen since Ricky Ponting, suggested last week he would head into the squad with an open mind about what is possible this summer.

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“The results I’ve had in four-day cricket are definitely a lot better than what I have shown in T20s,” Green said.

“If I don’t play, I’ll get a lot of experience and hopefully take a lot out of it.

“There’s probably no better place to keep learning and evolving your game than around world-class coaches and players.”

AAP

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Australia names Test squad for India series, including Victoria’s Will Pucovski and WA’s Cameron Green


Young batting phenomenon Will Pucovski has been named in Australia’s expanded 17-man squad for the upcoming Test series against India.

Victorian Pucovski, the leading Sheffield Shield run-scorer this season, is joined in the squad by Western Australian all-rounder Cameron Green, Queensland leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson and New South Wales all-rounder Sean Abbott and the Bulls’ Michael Neser as potential debutants for the first Test in Adelaide on December 17.

Selectors named a larger than usual squad to ensure replacements were available at short notice if required, given the team will be based in a biosecure hub.

The 22-year-old Pucovski was being mentioned as a possible Test inclusion last year, but shortly before the naming of the squad for the series against Pakistan, he asked selectors not to be considered due to mental health concerns.

He has bounced back with a brilliant start to this season, including back-to-back Shield double hundreds.

Green scored 197 for Western Australia against NSW last month and was named for Australia’s squad for the T20 series against India that precedes the Tests.

Greg Chappell labelled Green the best young player since Ricky Ponting.

Western Australia batsman Cameron Green completes a pull shot during a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales.
National selector Trevor Hohns described new Test squad member Cameron Green as a “wonderful young talent”.(AAP: James Elsby)

In a statement, national selector Trevor Hohns praised players and all others who ensured the Sheffield Shield’s opening rounds were completed in a hub in Adelaide.

“Two of those many standout players were of course Cameron Green and Will Pucovski. Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test Series against an extremely formidable opponent,” Hohns said.

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“Cameron has already won selection in the white ball squad and continues that in joining the Test squad. He is a wonderful young talent who has great potential to become an all-rounder of substance over time. His batting alone has demanded his place in the squad.”

Selectors also named a 19-man Australia A squad — including Burns, Pucovski, Abbott, Green, Swepson and others — from which teams would be chosen to play India A and India in three-day matches at Drummoyne Oval and the SCG.

Speaking to reporters, Hohns emphasised the decision facing selectors, and the weight placed on the players who had been holding down spots in the team as Australia moved up the Test rankings.

Asked about the battle between Joe Burns and Pucovski for an opening spot, Hohns said: “Joe (Burns) is the incumbent. He and his partnership with David Warner was a part of Australia getting to the number one Test ranking.”

Hohns said they would take all this into account, including the Sheffield Shield performances in coming to a decision, and indicated that upcoming Australia A matches would be important.

“We’ll continue to monitor things,” he said.

Hohns also praised the work of Abbott. He now categorises the Blues’ fast bowler as a bowling all-rounder, thanks to his strong batting performances over the last 12 months.

However he said there was no “pecking order” for players trying to break into the side.

“We’re trying to pick players who deserve their place in the team,” Hohns said.

Following the Adelaide Test, the two rivals will then contest the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, before the series moves to the SCG beginning January 7, and concludes at the Gabba on January 15.

Test squad:

Tim Paine (C), Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

Australia A squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Mark Steketee, Will Sutherland, Mitchell Swepson.



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Often touted as Australia’s next great batsman, Will Pucovski is on the cusp of a Test debut


Will Pucovski has long been touted as Australia’s next great batsman.

And now, the 22-year-old is on the cusp of a Test debut, called up to Australia’s squad to face India this summer.

It comes as the Victorian batsman scored 255 not out in his first Sheffield Shield innings of the summer for Victoria as part of a record opening partnership with Marcus Harris.

He backed it up with another double century (202) — the third of his short first-class career — against Western Australia in Adelaide.

He joins fellow youngster, 21-year-old West Australian Cameron Green, to be named in the 17-man extended squad.

Selectors today said they could not ignore Pucovski’s recent form.

“His ability to show such patience is something which stands him in good stead for Test cricket and he is in rare company with two double centuries to start the summer,” National selector Trevor Hohns said.

Will Pucovski raises his bat to acknowledge the crowd after his double century for Victoria
Will Pucovski leaves the field after being dismissed for 243 runs against WA in 2018.(AAP: Richard Wainwright)

However, his career has not been short of its challenges since he made his first class debut in 2017.

Pucovski has battled multiple concussions from blows to the head, and has been open about the mental health issues that led to his withdrawal from Test selection last year.

In 2018, when Pucovski was just 20, he also took a mental health break from the game amid speculation he would get a Test call-up.

Selectors said Pucovski had given them every indication that he’s ready to play for Australia.

“Obviously we do checks on players’ health and wellbeing. Will’s good to go, hopefully he’ll be there all the way through [the series],” Hohns said.

Australian greats say ‘he’s ready’

Pucovksi is one of only nine players, including Sir Donald Bradman and Ricky Ponting, to score a Shield double century before turning 21.

Australian cricket greats, including Ian Chappell, were among those recently to call for the youngster’s inclusion against India.

“What’s that now? Six or seven first-class centuries? That includes a couple of double [centuries]. He’s ready,” Chappell told ABC Sport on Sunday.

An old-fashioned manual scoreboard that reads "PUCOVSKI 226, HARRIS 226, 0 WKTS 465"
Will Pucovski and Marcus Harris made a record shield partnership against the Redbacks.(AAP: James Elsby)

His recent record partnership of 486 runs with Marcus Harris also passed the 30-year-old Sheffield Shield partnership of 464 runs set by Steve and Mark Waugh for NSW in 1990.

It stands as the highest Australian first-class partnership since the competition started in 1892.

‘I’ve been backing my instincts’

After reaching his second double century in as many games, Pucovski this week said he was pleased he has been able to perform after working hard on his craft in pre-season.

“Obviously you don’t get a chance to make 200 very often so when you’re in that kind of position it’s sort of that inner burning competitiveness that’s in you,” he said.

“The more I can do that more regularly, I think the results will hopefully come.”

And while the pressure of an Australian Test call-up remains, he said he has learned to deal with the outside noise.

“I’ve deleted pretty much every cricket app and most social media things off my phone,” he said.

“It’s probably something completely out of my control so all I can do is sort of present myself everyday and hopefully do well.”

Australia will take on India at Adelaide Oval in the first day/night Test on December 17 with selectors to make the call on who starts in Adelaide closer to the game.

Squad: Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine (c), James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.



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Australia names Test squad for India series, including Victoria’s Will Pucovski and WA’s Cameron Green



Young batting phenomenon Will Pucovski has been named in Australia’s expanded 17-man squad for the upcoming Test series against India.

Victorian Pucovski, the leading Sheffield Shield run-scorer this season, is joined in the squad by Western Australian all-rounder Cameron Green, Queensland leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson and New South Wales paceman Sean Abbott and the Bulls’ Michael Neser as potential debutants for the first Test in Adelaide on December 17.

The 22-year-old Pucovski was being mentioned as a possible Test inclusion last year, but shortly before the naming of the squad for the series against Pakistan, he asked selectors not to be considered due to mental health concerns.

He has bounced back with a brilliant start to this season, including back-to-back Shield double hundreds.

Green scored 197 for Western Australia against NSW last month and was named for Australia’s squad for the T20 series against India that precedes the Tests.

Greg Chappell labelled Green the best young player since Ricky Ponting.

Squad:

Tim Paine (C), Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

More to come.



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Virat Kohli to leave Australia after India’s first Test in Adelaide for birth of his child


India skipper Virat Kohli will face Australia in only one Test this summer after he was granted paternity leave to return home after the series opener in Adelaide.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) announced on Monday that Kohli will leave his team’s tour of Australia after the first Test to attend the birth of his first child.

Kohli and India’s huge touring party will soon travel from Dubai to Sydney on a charter flight, sharing it with Australia’s Indian Premier League stars.

The superstar batsman will play in the six limited-overs matches in Australia before he will return home to be with his wife Anushka Sharma for the birth in early January.

The four-Test series will commence on December 17 at the Adelaide Oval before the Boxing Day Test showdown at the MCG and matches at the SCG and the Gabba in the new year.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Kohli recently added his voice to a chorus of concern about the sustainability of bubble life, suggesting the length of tours in the COVID-19 era should be considered.

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“It does get difficult at times because it is repetitive,” Kohli said.

“Mentally, it can be taxing if this continues for this long a period at a consistent rate.

“It has to be broken down, it has to be based on how the individuals are feeling and I think that conversation should take place regularly.

“You want the players to be in the best state, mentally and physically.”

Virat Kohli celebrates his century for India on day three in Perth
Virat Kohli was excellent when touring India beat Australia in 2018/19.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Meanwhile, the BCCI detailed changes to the three squads across formats with the major news surrounding the inclusion of gun batsman Rohit Sharma to the Test squad.

Sharma and veteran Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha have both been hampered by hamstring injuries.

The 33-year-old Sharma has captained Mumbai Indians to the IPL final and there had been mixed messages regarding whether he will make the trip Down Under.

“It has been decided to rest him for the ODIs and T20Is in Australia to regain full fitness and he has been included in India’s Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,” a BCCI statement said.

Sunrisers Hyderabad gloveman Saha missed the IPL finals and is in doubt, with a call on his availability yet to be made.

Senior quick Ishant Sharma has been undergoing rehab for an abdominal muscle tear and “once he fully recovers and gains sufficient match fitness, he will be added to India’s Test squad,” the BCCI said.

AAP



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Ian Chappell calls for Will Pucovski’s inclusion in Australia Test team for India series


The scintillating first-class form of Victorian batsman Will Pucovski shows he is ready for Test selection, Ian Chappell says.

Pucovski scored 255 not out in his first Sheffield Shield innings of the summer for Victoria as part of a record opening partnership and then backed up that performance with another double century (202) — the third of his short first-class career — against Western Australia in the match underway in Adelaide.

Chappell, speaking before Pucovski completed his second double century of the Shield season, said the 22-year-old’s timely move to the top of the order, coupled with his exceptional form, made a compelling case.

“What’s that now? Six or seven first-class centuries? That includes a couple of double [centuries]. He’s ready,” Chappell told ABC Sport on Sunday.

“I don’t know whose idea it was to open for Victoria … he must have at least agreed to it anyhow.

Pucovski’s innings against Western Australia meant he became the first Australian to score back-to-back first-class double centuries since Michael Clarke achieved the feat in consecutive Test matches against South Africa in 2012.

He hit 27 fours in his 347-ball knock in Adelaide and now has an average of 457 for the Shield season and is currently the highest run scorer in the competition, despite playing just two innings.

Chappell, a former Australian captain, said the form of incumbent Test opener Burns — who has scored just 36 runs in three innings this season — meant that Pucovski was in the box seat to partner David Warner when the four-Test series against India starts on December 17 in Adelaide.

“Burns has made not many runs at all in this summer and there comes a time where you think to yourself, ‘well, where is Burns going?’,” he said.

“He’s probably not going anywhere, really, and it’s time to have a look at Pucovski.”

Colin de Grandhomme looks towards Joe Burns after dismissing the batsman LBW
Joe Burns opened for Australia last summer.(AAP: Richard Wainwright)

Mental health has to be priority for players in bubble

Pucovski was in line to make his debut last summer, but withdrew from the squad to face Pakistan “due to matters pertaining to mental wellbeing”.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing players into a bubble environment, Chappell noted that officials will need to be aware of players’ mental health over the course of what he expects to be an intense series.

“It was interesting to read [Indian captain] Virat Kohli’s comments about how they’re going to have to be careful in future about players’ mental health,” Chappell said.

“It must be difficult for the players because you need to wind down every now and again and get away from the cricket.

“It’s going to be difficult, and certainly the administrators need to be very, very careful of the mental health of the players.”

Swepson, Green also in contention

Chappell did not stop at Pucovski, adding Mitch Swepson and Cameron Green into the mix off the back of their impressive Shield form.

Queensland leggy Swepson has taken 15 wickets so far this Shield campaign, the most of any player in the competition.

Western Australia batsman Cameron Green has 307 runs so far this campaign, with a top score of 197.

“I’d like to see, definitely Pucovski play, I’d like to see [Mitch] Swepson in the side at some point, obviously the Sydney Test I think, would be a chance for two spinners.

“And Cameron Green, if he keeps making runs at first class level, I think I’d like to see him at some stage get a game for Australia.

“If you’ve made seven first-class centuries, two of them doubles, you’re ready.”



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Wallabies revel in the chaos to secure dramatic Bledisloe Cup Test win over All Blacks


“That was a wild game,” Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said after his side’s terrific 24-22 victory over the All Blacks at Lang Park on Saturday night.

Wild barely covers it.

A night that had been billed as one of the biggest Tests in Australia’s recent history — following the disappointment of last Saturday night’s 43-5 defeat in Sydney — ended with Rennie beaming on the pitch, as he celebrated his first win as Wallabies coach over the land of his birth.

Australia’s rugby-supporting public had demanded a response from the Wallabies after last weekend’s performance — and boy, did they get one.

Perhaps we should have expected it.

The Wallabies have won their last seven Tests at Lang Park and lost just one of their past five against the All Blacks in Brisbane. The Test they lost, back in 2014, was only by a point.

There is something different about the Wallabies in Brisbane and they lived up to that billing in front of a big, vocal crowd.

The four changes made by Rennie to his matchday squad were designed to toughen up the Wallabies defence and rectify its colander-esque display in Sydney a week ago, while also addressing their shockingly poor ball retention. And those changes paid off.

The Wallabies were far more secure in possession, choosing to keep the ball in hand and probe the All Blacks’ line with ball carriers, rather than kick it in behind and invite their opponents to run it back.

Straight from the kick-off, an increased solidity on both sides of the ball was apparent, when Anton Lienert-Brown came out of the All Blacks’ defensive line to meet a deep-sitting Jordan Petaia.

Lienert-Brown was summarily dismissed, a monstrous collision leaving the All Blacks centre sitting on his backside as Petaia shrugged his way past.

The Wallabies showed a more intelligent use of the ball, with the opening try giving debutant Tom Wright a dream start to his Test career after just three minutes.

The Wallabies embrace one of their teammates after he scored a try against the All Blacks in Brisbane.
Wallabies debutant Tom Wright (left) had a night to remember, crossing for the first try of the match.(AAP: Darren England)

It came by way of a deft chip kick over the top from Reece Hodge, a man playing his first Test at five-eighth since 2017 but who marshalled the Wallabies’ backline superbly.

Despite Hodge’s recent inexperience in the role, he and his teammates kicked when the situation presented itself, not just when under pressure from the swarming All Blacks defence.

Sure, the All Blacks then did what they do best after conceding early; hogging the ball, starving the Wallabies of possession and creating openings through the axis of the Barrett brothers at five-eighth and fullback, with Beauden and Jordie both testing the Wallabies line regularly.

In consecutive plays, Beauden Barrett took the ball to the line and scythed through an infinitesimally small gap, then younger brother Jordie absorbed a walloping hit from two Wallabies defenders, yet stood tall to serve a little pass out behind him, which led to the All Blacks levelling through Rieko Ioane.

A New Zealand All Blacks player pumps his right fist after scoring a try against the Wallabies in Brisbane.
Rieko Ioane touched down for the All Blacks’ first try of the evening.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

In the opening quarter of the game, the All Blacks enjoyed 68 per cent possession and 69 per cent territory. Yet the Wallabies led 8-5.

Red cards warranted

The two red cards introduced the degree of chaos into the contest that would make this a classic — both of which were entirely justified decisions from referee Nic Berry.

Berry’s playing career was curtailed by a series of concussion issues, so the sight of Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s shoulder slamming into the chin of Wright would have made the decision to send him off easy.

It was a hit that had the majority of the crowd at Lang Park roaring in approval rather than baying for blood, but was also the sort of hit that can cause serious damage, and referees are right to call it out.

With that in mind, the subsequent decision to turn Lachie Swinton’s Wallabies debut into a nightmare was also more than justified when he collected Sam Whitelock high.

A Wallabies leaves the field after being sent off against the All Blacks in Brisbane.
Lachie Swinton was shown a red card in his Test debut for the Wallabies.(AAP: Darren England)

On Fox Sports, Phil Kearns said the decision to send both players off ruined the spectacle of the game — but World Rugby’s mandate to protect the head should not be criticised.

As for having a detrimental impact on the spectacle? Not in this case it didn’t.

The Wallabies grew in confidence at the game went on, turning the tables on the All Blacks by starving them of possession, patiently working the ball up the field and exerting terrific pressure at the breakdown.

The hosts enjoyed 58 per cent possession and 61 per cent territory, earned six penalties to one in the second period and tidied up their discipline — having conceded nine penalties to eight in the first 40 minutes — while making better use of the ball.

Hooper, as ever, was a huge part of the Wallabies’ endeavours in the second half. The skipper was typically damaging against the All Blacks at the breakdown and a terrific force in the loose.

But there were terrific performances all over the pitch, with young stars Wright, Harry Wilson and Hunter Paisami all starting on home soil.

Taniela Tupou also made a terrific impact off the reserves bench. His power at scrum time was immediately obvious, forcing the only scrum penalty of the game when he bent the All Blacks’ front row to the delight of his teammates.

In the loose too, Tupou’s impact was felt. His charging runs close to the ruck proved near-impossible to stop, as illustrated when he burrowed over for what turned out to be the match-winning try.

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Even Noah Lolesio was able to exorcise the demons of his patchy debut last week with an assured 15-minute cameo, fittingly kicking the ball out and screaming with delight in what must have been a cathartic experience.

Sure, the chaotic nature of a game featuring a red card apiece could make any gains earned from this contest seem irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but the restorative power of a win like that cannot be underestimated.

It might not have been tidy, but sometimes you just have to revel in the chaos.



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Australia defeats New Zealand 24-22 in Bledisloe Cup Test as Wallabies post first Tri Nations win


The Wallabies have rebounded from a record loss to the All Blacks and salvaged some pride with a thrilling 24-22 win in the fourth Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane, with both sides finishing the match with 14 players.

A week after the All Blacks secured the Bledisloe Cup with a 43-5 win over the Wallabies — the largest winning margin between the two sides — the home side produced a much more committed performance at Lang Park to post their first win of the Tri Nations tournament.

Both sides were handed red cards in a spiteful first half, with Wallabies debutant Lachie Swinton and All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi both sent from the field for near-identical high tackles.

Makeshift five-eighth Reece Hodge’s boot and a late Taniela Tupou try put the Wallabies up by nine points, 24-15, inside the final five minutes.

But it took a crushing Marika Koroibete tackle to snuff out the All Blacks’ hopes after New Zealand hit back with a 78th-minute converted try of their own through Tupou Vaa’i.

The victory was the Wallabies’ seventh straight at Lang Park. The result leaves them and the All Blacks with identical 1-1 win-loss records in the Tri Nations.

The All Blacks scored three tries to two but Hodge’s goalkicking proved the difference, with his 14-point haul including four penalty goals.

Winger Tom Wright landed the first blow of an action-packed match in just the third minute of play, scoring with his maiden touch in Test rugby to give the Wallabies the perfect start.

But the All Blacks replied six minutes later, when Rieko Ioane touched down to level the score at 5-5.

Wright found himself on the receiving end of a thumping Tu’ungafasi challenge that initially brought pats on the back for the New Zealand forward.

Replays showed Tu’ungafasi had hit Wright on the chin, with no mitigating factors leaving referee Nic Berry reaching for the red card in the 23rd minute.

A referee holds up a red card as he sends off a New Zealand All Blacks player against Australia in Brisbane.
A red card to Ofa Tu’ungafasi (left) meant the All Blacks were reduced to 14 players in the first half.(AAP: Darren England)

It should have been the decisive advantage, but instead the Wallabies finished the half with one man fewer on the park than the All Blacks.

Swinton replicated Tu’ungafasi’s hit with a challenge on Sam Whitelock — except without any signs of his arms in the tackle — to recklessly earn a red card of his own in the 35th minute.

A Wallabies leaves the field after being sent off against the All Blacks in Brisbane.
Lachie Swinton was shown a red card in his Test debut for the Wallabies.(AAP: Darren England)

Then winger Koroibete was yellow-carded for a line-ball penalty that was deemed the final straw as the Wallabies desperately defended on half-time, with the score locked at 8-8.

The Wallabies defied their shortage to start the better in the second half, with a Hodge penalty converting some good early pressure for an 11-8 lead.

But All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor scored off the back of the scrum from the restart, with Nic White fumbling Wright’s inside pass as the immediate reply went begging.

Hodge then missed a penalty goal attempt from 50 metres but the Wallabies continued to press, before New Zealand’s Scott Barrett found himself sin-binned for a professional foul.

Hodge did not miss another attempt from in front of the goal posts though, with Tupou then burrowing over for a nine-point lead with five minutes to play.

The All Blacks replied through Vaa’i, leaving two minutes for the All Blacks to conjure a match-winning try.

But Koroibete twice crunched Jordie Barrett to force an error and seal the win.

The Wallabies now have a two-week break before they meet Argentina in Newcastle in the third match of their Tri Nations campaign.

The All Blacks face the Pumas at the Western Sydney Stadium next Saturday.

AAP/ABC



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Australia defeats New Zealand 24-22 in Brisbane Bledisloe Cup Test



The Wallabies have salvaged some pride by beating the All Blacks 24-22 in the fourth Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane after both sides finished the match with 14 players.

Wallabies debutant Lachie Swinton and All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi were both shown red cards during a spiteful first half, with the two sides locked at 8-8 at the break.

The lead switched hands in a pulsating second half, before the Wallabies gave themselves some breathing space with Taniela Tupou barging over for a try in the 75th minute.

Reece Hodge added the conversion for the Wallabies to establish a 24-15 advantage, but the All Blacks responded with a converted try to Tupou Vaa’i to close the gap to two points.

The home side, however, was able to hold on to clinch the victory, which is their first of the Tri Nations tournament.

More to come.

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