James Horwill laments Wallabies errors
October 19, 2013
The handling skills of Keven Mealamu and the All Blacks were better than those of the Wallabies © Getty Images
Israel Folau was among the best Wallabies with ball in hand © Getty Images
James Horwill lamented the Wallabies' sloppy handling as a key reason for their 41-33 defeat by a merciless All Blacks side in the pulsating third Bledisloe Cup Test at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
Both teams produced moments of brilliance in a free-flowing Test in front of a near-sellout crowd of 28,973 fans, but handling errors and some sloppy breakdown work by the Wallabies meant their high points were too few and far between as the All Blacks swept the series 3-0 to ice their 11th consecutive cup win.
"The turnover rate was too high," Wallabies captain Horwill said.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said his side had improved on their previous two Tests against the world champions, and his players were starting to express themselves, "but obviously until you win these games you're never going to be happy".
The game looked dead and buried as early as the 47th minute, with the All Blacks leading 33-19 and attacking a broken Wallabies line. But Tevita Kuridrani intercepted a pass from Julian Savea and dashed away to put midfield partner Matt Toomua over the try line to narrow the margin to seven points.
The fightback didn't last.
Kieran Read crossed in the 53rd minute, after a superb team build-up that epitomised their four tries, and the All Blacks captain said that he felt his side always had the game under control.
"The way they got in the game in that first half was through our ill-discipline," he said. "We felt that every time we got down their end we were getting some points so it was about building momentum."
The Wallabies weren't without their chances, though.
Six times in the opening 30 minutes, the visitors gave away possession while attacking near the All Blacks' 22 - two mistakes made uncharacteristically by Will Genia, who was celebrating his 50th Test.
"It doesn't really matter who turns it over, the fact is that the team's doing it and letting the pressure off," Horwill said.
"In the end we let them off the hook."
Kieran Read produced another immense performance © Getty Images
The All Blacks won another thrill-a-minute Test against Australia (video available only in Australia)
Reaction: Quade Cooper stands firm
Match Pack: All Blacks complete Bledisloe sweep
Matches: New Zealand 41 - 33 Australia
Tournaments/Tours: Bledisloe Cup
Picture Gallery: New Zealand 41-33 Australia, Bledisloe Cup
Audio/Video: Wallabies want more
Welsh rugby administrators are still hopeful their regional club sides will commit their future to the RaboDirect PRO12
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed his club will use a contentious 'blood-spinning' technique in a bid to hasten the return of defender Jan Vertonghen from injury
Borussia Dortmund advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday night as Group F winners after a dramatic 2-1 victory at pointless, 10-man Marseille
Arsenal qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League in second place after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Napoli, as Borussia Dortmund secured a late victory away to Marseille
Lacklustre Chelsea secured top spot in Champions League Group E with a 1-0 defeat of Steaua Bucharest
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
What is still at stake and all the Champions League group stage permutations, including Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City
Can you find the details for the England & Wales versus Scotland & Ireland match held at Twickenham in 1970 to mark the Centenary of the Rugby Football Union?
Phil Taylor is gunning for a 17th World Championship crown, but the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis will be out to deny him success at the Alexandra Palace
Deputy editor Laurence Edmondson looks at the reasons for and the flaws within the decision to offer double points at the season finale