Rugby Union Wallabies perform under pressure to lift Tri-Nations Trophy
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In front of nearly 52,000 Australian fans, the Qantas Wallabies lifted the Castrol Edge Tri Nations trophy and claimed the converted title for Australia for the first time in a decade.
Their 25-20 victory over the All Blacks was an exciting display of performance, determination and skill that thrilled the packed out Suncorp Stadium.
The first half saw the Wallabies take a 20-3 lead with Will Genia and Radike Samo both crossing for the Wallabies, and Quade Cooper slotted both conversions and two penalty goals.
The second half was a totally different story as the All Blacks team came out fighting from the whistle and put 3 points on the board right away, courtesy of Dan Carter’s penalty goal – which reduced the Wallabies’ lead to just two converted tries.
The All Blacks then went on to level the scores – and it could have been anyone’s game until Wallabies’ hometown hero, Digby Ioane made a break down the centre before handing off to fullback Kurtley Beale who crossed the line in the 61st minute. And although Cooper failed to convert for an even bigger lead, it was enough to see the Wallabies claim an historic and well deserved Castrol Edge Tri Nations title for Australia.
An overview of the 2011 Castrol EDGE Tri Nations decider (click to enlarge)
A little Tri Nations history
The Tri-Nations competition started life in 1995 when News Limited and the Australian, New Zealand and South African Rugby Unions (SANZAR) formed their partnership.
The first game kicked off on July 6 of the following year in New Zealand when the All Blacks hosted the Wallabies at Wellington’s Athletic Park - New Zealand won this inaugural match.
For its first decade, the Tri-Nations was conducted over six matches, with each country playing the other home and away. The championship was then extended, following an update of the SANZAR agreement with News Limited in 2005, being expanded to nine matches - three home, three away – from 2006.
In 2007, as it did this year, the competition reverted to its original format to cater for the impact on the playing schedules of the Rugby World Cup tournament.
New Zealand has dominated the competition, with 10 wins (1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2010).
The first ever Tri-Nations match was refereed by Ed Morrison - an Englishman.
The highest attendance for a Tri Nations game was 109,878 at Stadium Australia in Sydney in 2000.
Ireland’s Alain Rolland has refereed more Tri Nations matches than anyone else.
New Zealand won its first eight Tri-Nations matches before losing to Australia in the opening game of the 1998 tournament.
Morné Steyn didn’t miss with a single goal attempt during the 2010 tournament.
The least number of tries conceded in a tournament is three – by Australia in 1999 and South Africa in 2001. Interestingly, neither side won the championship that year.
2010 saw a new record number of tries in a tournament – with a total 52.
The All Blacks have lost just six of their 34 Tri Nations matches.
Only two players in the history of the game have scored in excess of 150 test points against two countries. They are both All Blacks – Andrew Mehrtens and Daniel Carter.