Tonight the All Blacks won against the Wallabies for the fourth time this year (although the tally does flatter the winners as the Wallabies took the AB's to the line on at least two occasions, and looked very much on par with the New Zealanders).
However, in the end with Dan Carter's boot and two beautiful tries (the first, the best I've seen from the All Blacks all year), the New Zealanders brought this game home.
The first half was incredibly even. I've always said - sagely since the mid 80s - never get the Aussies into your own twenty two as they'll pull one out of the bag. And Peter Hynes did just that, in the corner brushing off four desperate All Blacks, just before the second time whistle.
The try was awarded dubiously by the TMO after what it seemed like ten minutes of soul searching. To be fair, I would have awarded it too. (One must always give the attacking team the benefit of the doubt - even if it was grounded before it touched the chalk and then lost forward after).
The ABs weren't helped in the five minutes previous by the brainless and inept (ok, he finished with a try, but he's still inept) Sivivatu who pulled an illegal in-the-air tackle against Adam Ashley Cooper that looked distinctly malicious. Of course he was sent to the sin bin for a well deserved ten thereafter. (Why the AB coaches persist with this nutbar who can't tackle and can't catch a basic up-and-under is beyond me).
But at half time, the All Blacks got the 'talking to' and came out firing. Conrad 'runs a good straight line' Smith scored a 'good running at the line' in a straight pattern try, and then it was up to Dan and Giteau to exchange penalties for the next half hour.
Roll on the AIs.