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Rugby Championship: New Zealand edge to 35-29 win over Australia

New Zealand celebrate retaining the Bledisloe Cup

The victory ensured the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup for the 15th year in a row

A late try from Beauden Barrett edged New Zealand to a thrilling victory over Australia in a dramatic Rugby Championship game in Dunedin.

Australia were 17-14 in front on the hour mark but Barrett’s first try sparked a frenetic finish.

Will Genia touched down to restore the Wallabies’ lead, only for Ben Smith to respond with an outstanding score.

Kurtley Beale put Australia back in front but Barrett’s 78th-minute try secured victory for the All Blacks.

After last week’s 54-34 victory in Sydney, it was a memorable way for the world champions to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

The visitors raced into a 17-0 thanks to tries from Israel Folau, Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley, whose three missed conversions were to prove decisive on the day.

But Rieko Ioane and Aaron Smith pegged them back, before Barrett’s first score meant the lead changed hands for the first time.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read said: “We had to dig deep. We are pretty proud at the moment. We will certainly celebrate.”

New Zealand were playing to honour the memory of All Blacks great Sir Colin Meads, who was named the country’s best rugby player of the 20th century.

Meads died last Sunday at the age of 81.

“It’s a sad loss in the New Zealand community,” added Read. “We really wanted to do it for him.”

Springboks see red in Argentina

Later on Saturday, South Africa celebrated wearing a red outfit for the first time by defeating Argentina 41-23 in Salta to stretch their winning run to five matches.

The change from the traditional green and gold was to celebrate 25 years of rugby unity in a country where the sport was run on racial lines during the apartheid era.

All the national flag colours – black, blue, green, red, white and yellow – have been used either in playing or training kit this season.

South Africa led 17-10 at half-time in a match of four yellow cards, as well as a red for Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini on the hour.

The Springboks outscored the home side five tries to two, while fly-half Elton Jantjies finished the game with 19 points.

Rugby Championship: New Zealand edge to 35-29 win over Australia}

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