Rugby Union: Lynagh writes opening chapter

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The Independent Online
Australia. . . . .16

New Zealand. . . .15

AUSTRALIA edged out the All Blacks in a thrilling first Test in Sydney yesterday, the lead changing hands five times before victory was sealed by the boot of Michael Lynagh.

With nine minutes left, the flu- stricken stand-off, who had been doubtful before the game, calmly converted a penalty from just to the left of the posts on the 22-metre line to put the Wallabies one game up in the Bledisloe Cup.

In a stirring first instalment to the three-Test series, both sides scored two tries which, for the first time in an international, earned five points apiece. Crucially, however, the New Zealanders were let down by the normally reliable kicking of the recalled Grant Fox, who missed three vital penalties in the second half.

The Wallabies had trailed 12-8 at half-time thanks to a spectacular 80-metre New Zealand try just before the break, eight players linking before the centre Frank Bunce went over to score.

The All Blacks' muscular wing, Va'aiga Tuigamala, had opened the scoring after just five minutes, bulldozing over in the corner after a flowing move down the left flank. The heavier Australian pack set up a reply midway through the first half when a drive from a line-out put Nick Farr- Jones in the clear.

The Australian captain chipped the ball through for David Campese to chase and the mercurial wing capitalised on John Kirwan's failure to smother a wicked bounce.

Bunce's try gave the Kiwis fresh impetus, but another run from Campese led to a maul and a feed out to Tim Horan, who put Australia in front again at 13-12. Fox readjusted his sights to restore the lead with a penalty but his effort was surpassed by Lynagh's kick at the death. 'I think we all need tranquillizers,' the Australian coach, Bob Dwyer, said. The next contest in the Cup takes place in Brisbane on 19 July.

Australia: Tries Campese, Horan; Penalties Lynagh 2. New Zealand: Tries Tuigamala, Bunce; Penalty Fox; Conversion Fox.

AUSTRALIA: T Kelaher; P Carozza, J Little, T Horan, D Campese; M Lynagh, N Farr-Jones (capt); T Daly, P Kearns, E McKenzie, R McCall, J Eales, T Coker, D Wilson, S Scott-Young (G Morgan, 77 min).

NEW ZEALAND: J Timu; J Kirwan, F Bunce, W Little, V Tuigamala; G Fox, A Strachan; R Loe, S Fitzpatrick (capt), O Brown, I Jones, R Brooke, M Brewer (J Joseph, 64 min), M Jones, A Pene.

Referee: J Fleming (Scotland).

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