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Bledisloe Cup opener ends in draw

Monday, August 18, 2014

SYDNEY - Lightning does strike twice after all, with the Wallabies again denying the All Blacks a record 18th consecutive Test win in a tense 12-12 draw in the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener in Sydney.

Two years ago, an 18-18 draw in Brisbane prevented the All Blacks from matching the 18 straight wins by New Zealand from 1965-69 and also South Africa's 1997-98 outfit - and the first tryless Test in Sydney since 1979 denied the Kiwis again on Saturday night.

Wallabies five-eighth Kurtley Beale and All Blacks opposite Aaron Cruden both landed four penalty goals in wet and slippery conditions at ANZ Stadium.

South African Jaco Peyper's pedantic and, at times, bemusing refereeing reduced the much-anticipated trans-Tasman showdown to a dour, stop-start affair in front of 68,627 fans.

But, unlike two weeks ago at the same venue when Bernard Foley booted the NSW Waratahs to a last-minute win.

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