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Sunday, October 16, 2011

All Blacks into final after beating Australia 20-6 | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News

Otago Daily Times sports editor Hayden Meikle blogs live as the All Blacks take on Australia at Eden Park in their Rugby World Cup semi-final. 

10.44pm: IT'S ALL OVER. The All Blacks win 20-6 and are into their first World Cup final since 1995. Bring on France, in a repeat of the 1987
final. See you next week. 

10.41pm: More great defence from the All Blacks. Wallabies massively frustrated. Outstanding work by the men in black. 

10.40pm: YELLOW CARD. Sonny Bill goes in with the big shoulder on Quade Cooper. Dumb. Ted will not be impressed. 

10. 35pm: PENALTY. Weepu, back on because Ellis was spitting blood, kicks a penalty. The All Blacks lead 20-6! Sonny Bill is on! And we're in the World Cup final! 

10.33pm: HUGE scrum by the All Blacks and they are starting to show some emotion now. Time to celebrate! 

10.29pm: MISSED PENALTY. Cruden misses that one. Still 17-6 to the All Blacks with just 12 minutes to play. 

10.28pm: Too soon to start celebrating? 

10.25pm: Too soon to start celebrating? 

10.20pm: Ellis for Weepu, and Williams for Whitelock. And Israel Dagg has just attempted a drop goal and missed. Badly. 

10.14pm: Too soon to start celebrating? 

10.09pm: Mistakes creeping into the Wallabies now. My editor, a very wise man, points out it is because they are playing "catch-up footy''. He's an Australian, by the way. 

10.05pm: The Wallabies have had a good little patch here. But there are hardly any gaps in the black line of defence. 

10.01pm: PENALTY. Weepu slots his third penalty and the All Blacks lead 17-6. 

10pm: The second half is under way. And there's an early chance for Weepu as the Wallabies try to shift the ball and the tackler holds on. 

9.53pm: Some impressions from the first half, then. The All Blacks have got to be pretty happy. They've looked aggressive and keen, with Israel Dagg and Kieran Read prominent. Aaron Cruden has stood up, and Cory Jane has done some good things. They should maybe be another 5-8 points to the good, but so be it. The Aussies have again done reasonably well to be hanging in despite conceding a massive possession and territory disadvantage. The match ain't over yet but I still think the All Blacks have this won. 

9.45pm: HALFTIME. Nervous wee moment for the All Blacks as the Aussies go on attack. But it turns to nothing. All Blacks lead 14-6 and are 40 minutes away from their first World Cup final since 1995. 

9.40pm: PENALTY. Unlucky moment for Australia as Ashley-Cooper gets pinged for accidental offside. Weepu nails it. All Blacks up 14-6 with 2min to halftime. 

9.36pm: DROP GOAL. I said England wasn't playing. This time it's Quade Cooper actually doing something well. The Aussies held on to the ball for a million phases but couldn't find a way through. All Blacks lead 11-6 after 32 minutes. 

9.32pm: Dagg again on a big run. He is just looking sensational tonight. But the All Blacks' momentum breaks down when Tony Woodcock drops the ball cold. 

9.30pm: Quade Cooper is the worst rugby player in history. He just duffed two kicks in a row. Robbie Deans needs to take him off or the
Wallabies are done. 

9.28pm: OOOFF. Massive Kahui tackle on Quade Cooper. Everyone loved that. 

9.26pm: DROP GOAL. And this is not England playing. Interesting call by Cruden, who sets himself up perfectly and slots the pot. All Blacks lead 11-3.

9.24pm: Wallabies make a change at prop. Sekope Kepu off and James Slipper on.

9.20pm: MISSED PENALTY. The powderpuff Wall abies scrum conceded a penalty. From about 40m, Weepu misses. The All Blacks will be slightly annoyed their dominance is not being translated into a big lead.

9.18pm: Wow, scary moment there. Huge run by Digby Ioane, and the Wallabies probably should have scored. Great tackle by Conrad Smith on
Radike Samo. McCaw concedes a penalty, and O'Connor slots it. All Blacks lead 8-3. 

9.15pm: PENALTY. Weepu makes no mistake with that one. The All Blacks lead 8-0 after 13 minutes. They could be up by 20. 

9.12pm: MISSED PENALTY. All Blacks have been completely dominant but missed an opportunity there. Weepu's penalty attempt bounced back off the posts. 

9.08pm: TRY TO THE ALL BLACKS. In Izzy we trust. Lovely angled run by Israel Dagg. He tears the Aussie defence to shreds, possibly steps out, but passes in to Nonu for the try. Weepu just misses the conversion. 

9.06pm: Wow, it's all happening at Eden Park. The All Blacks look supremely up for this game. Jane kicks ahead and O'Connor carries the ball back over the line. 5m scrum for All Blacks. 

9.04pm: Lovely kick for field position by Piri Weepu. Aussies clear, but Cory Jane takes quick throw. Lovely run by Dagg. Exciting start to this
test. 

9.02pm: Quade Cooper kicks off and it goes out on the full! Sure, Quade, the boos don't worry ya, mate. 

9pm: Haka time. I thought they'd do the new haka and indeed they do. Has Piri Weepu usurped Buck Shelford as the best haka leader ever? 

8.58pm: National anthem time. Nick Afoa with Advaaaanncce Australia Fair. Quade Cooper looks TERRIFIED. Seriously. And Elizabeth Marvelly handles our bicultural ballad. What, no Hayley? Look into Richard Hugh McCaw's eyes and tell me the All Blacks are going to lose this game. Nope. 

8.57pm: Right, time to put my prediction out there. I only picked one quarterfinal out of four, but that is MEANINGLESS. The All Blacks will be too strong up front. They are supremely motivated. Piri and Ma'a are the key men. And they're at Eden Park. All Blacks win by six. 

8.55pm: You should all know the team news by now. The All Blacks have welcomed back Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui to the back three, and wee Aaron Cruden becomes our third starting first five at this tournament. Richie McCaw has warned his foot to hang on for two more weeks. The Aussies are Kurtley Beale-less, and that's a huge loss for them. David Pocock is playing but does not have his beloved Bryce Lawrence beside him. 

8.51pm: And for those league fans, ouch. The Kiwis have been thumped by the Kangaroos. Does any one care? We've won the ones that have counted in recent years. 

8.50pm: For those of you who have been living in a cave, one World Cup finalist has been found - and it's not Wales, sadly. France won 9-8 last night, in a match destined to be remembered for the sending-off of Welsh captain Sam Warburton. The incident has sparked plenty of debate. For what it's worth, I think Alain Rolland got it right 

8.45pm: Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of the Rugby World Cup semifinal between the All Blacks and Australia. I'm not nervous. At all. Are you?

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