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Australia clinch Tri-Nations title

Australia lifted the final ever Tri-Nations trophy after a narrow 25-20 win over New Zealand at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Quade Cooper and Dan Carter kicked two penalties and two conversions each but Australia edged it by virtue of scoring three tries to New Zealand's two.

Kurtley Beale, Will Genia and Radike Samo touched down for Australia, with Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith going over for the visitors.

The match was the last Tri-Nations encounter, with the tournament expanding to include Argentina from 2012.

Australia took an early lead with a penalty from Cooper before Genia extended their lead with the opening try, Cooper adding the extras.

New Zealand got their first points on the board 20 minutes into the game when Carter kicked a penalty after the Wallabies were penalised for offside, but that was soon cancelled out by Cooper when Nonu was penalised for tackling Pat McCabe without the ball.

A minute later Samo scored Australia's second try when he ran 50metres to the line after handing off Adam Thomson and evading the attentions of Mils Muliaina and Cory Jane. Cooper again added the extras and the hosts held on to lead 20-3 at half-time.

However, New Zealand hit back with a Carter penalty early in the second half and then Smith put the seal on a fine move which saw the All Blacks go through 26 phases of play with a try.

Carter's conversion made it 20-13 and things got better for New Zealand when Nonu combined with Smith before touching down. Carter's conversion levelled the scores at 20-20.

But Beale had the final say when he touched down with 20 minutes remaining to give Australia a 25-20 lead which they defended to the final whistle.


From Belfast Telegraph