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All Blacks end Tri-Nations tournament on a high

  • Story Highlights
  • All Blacks avoid becoming first NZ team to lose three home matches in a year
  • Graham Henry's side beat Australia 33-6 in final match of Tri-Nations tournament
  • The Kiwis finish second in table after failing to beat South Africa last weekend
  • Wallabies bottom after suffering fifth defeat in six outings in Wellington
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(CNN) -- Graham Henry's All Blacks avoided becoming the first New Zealand team to lose three home matches in a year after overpowering Australia 33-6 in an otherwise meaningless final match of the Tri-Nations tournament on Saturday.

New Zealand center Ma'a Nonu bursts free to score the third try late in the match.

New Zealand center Ma'a Nonu bursts free to score the third try late in the match.

The Kiwis surrendered the title to South Africa last weekend when they failed to beat the Springboks, but bounced back to trounce the Wallabies and leave the Wallabies bottom of the table with just one win from six matches.

The All Blacks finished second, eight points behind South Africa with three wins from six outings, despite ending on a high in Wellington.

Matt Giteau kicked the visitors ahead with an early penalty, but Dan Carter responded with three of his own after missing his first effort before Berrick Barnes reduced the deficit to 9-6 with a drop-goal.

Home center Isaia Toeava was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes after a high tackle on James O'Connor, but the All Blacks still scored the first try on 31 minutes when Cory Jane jumped high to claim a well-judged kick by Mils Muliaina from the teenage Wallabies fullback and burst over the line.

Carter converted for a 16-6 halftime lead, and another penalty from the flyhalf saw New Zealand comfortably ahead six minutes into the second spell.

Australia consolidated and put on pressure with 10 minutes to go, twice going close to tries as they pushed the All Blacks back over their own line, but two late tries killed off the visitors.

Center Ma'a Nonu burst through two tackles to cross the line almost unopposed, then New Zealand spread the ball quickly out wide for wing Joe Rokocoko to score in the right corner.

The victory meant New Zealand comfortably retained the Bledisloe Cup, which is contested each year between the two nations.

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