However with 80 seconds to go, after Rob Simmons gave away a maul penalty, Barrett redeemed himself to lock scores up and compelled a cliffhanger end.
Enter Hodge – Australia’s super-sub with the most important boot in world rugby.
With two nations holding their breath, Hodge’s kick soared into the Wellington sky. It had the gap however cannoned into the fitting put up and play resumed.
Had it gone over, it will have introduced pure elation to a Wallabies facet who got here inside a whisker of doing what no Australian facet has finished since 2001 in Dunedin.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison light-heartedly advised new coach Dave Rennie via a good luck video on Sunday to not “stuff it up” and a very powerful man within the nation, together with 1000’s of Wallabies followers at barbecues across the nation, will probably be giving Dave a giant tick of approval in his first outing.
Discuss exceeding expectations.
Rennie was understated within the build-up, by no means giving the impression both he or his squad have been overconfident.
However what a efficiency this was, underneath the circumstances, that may persuade even essentially the most sceptical Wallabies fan that one thing particular might be brewing underneath Rennie.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster, an assistant to Steve Hansen in a poor World Cup marketing campaign, seemed a nervous wreck as Australia grew in confidence and threatened to trigger a significant boilover.
In his first outing at No.10 towards the Kiwis, O’Connor was slick and guaranteed, courtesy of crisp service from halfback Nic White all afternoon.
O’Connor’s final go to Marika Koroibete, for the primary of Australia’s two tries, was timed to perfection and there was sufficient proof in his exhibiting to recommend he ought to stay within the position shifting ahead.
The All Blacks have been torpid, lacked self-discipline and rusty.
Working right into a headwind, Australia’s lineout wasn’t as much as scratch courtesy of some wonky Folau Fainga’a throws, but regardless of the set-piece woes Australia would have been happy to move into the sheds on the ‘Cake Tin’ solely down Eight-Three.
The wind made kicking a nightmare for each side, with all 4 conversions lacking their mark.
After an energy-sapping opening interval, the All Blacks pounced on the first alternative with a fierce wind howling behind them.
Their counter-attack down the fitting, completed off by Barrett, happened after Tom Banks’ clearing kick failed to search out contact.
However replays confirmed Rieko Ioane’s foot had flicked the touchline paint and remarkably, it was on Australian assistant Angus Gardner’s wing.
The Kiwis weren’t so fortunate on the stroke of half-time when, having been on the again foot, thought they’d scored via Ioane after a counter-attack that got here from a Fainga’a knock-on.
New Zealand’s knack of ending first halves on a excessive seemed to have occurred as soon as once more however Ioane’s schoolboy knock-on whereas putting the ball down despatched a sigh of reduction via the Wallabies.
Filipo Daugunu had a sensational debut and scored a cracking five-pointer. He was evasive and ate up 130 metres from 15 carries, whereas fellow debutant Harry Wilson bent the road and got here good on his pre-game phrase that he wasn’t afraid of the All Blacks.
Australia’s cleanout accuracy will want work earlier than the second Take a look at in Auckland however the positives far outweigh the negatives.
The Wallabies lifted in Michael Hooper’s 100th Take a look at and can head to Eden Park, the place they haven’t gained since 1986, in little doubt they will go one higher and create one other slice of historical past.
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Tom Respectable is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald