x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

O'Connor ends All Blacks' 15-game unbeaten run

James O'Connor converted his own try in the third minute of stoppage time to give Australia a 26-24 win over New Zealand at Hong Kong Stadium.

Australia hero James O'Connor insisted his last-gasp conversion was "just like every other kick" after the winger pulled his side back from the brink of defeat to edge out New Zealand 26-24 at Hong Kong Stadium.

Trailing by five points when the final hooter was sounded, the Wallabies were staring at an 11th consecutive loss to their bitter rivals but they kept the ball alive and O'Connor crashed over the line from close in to level the Bledisloe Cup encounter.

And with victory resting on the last kick of the game, O'Connor stepped up to nervelessly slot the conversion through the posts and also end the All Blacks' 15-game unbeaten run.

"To be honest, I've tried to put myself in that situation a lot in training," he said.

"Robbie (Deans, coach) has said plenty of times 'this is the last kick to win the game' and I think that's the only one I've hit, so I'm pretty happy about it.

"The team were all pumping me up, giving me the confidence. I'd done all the training I needed, I just went through my motions, my little triggers I've been working on, and it was just like every other kick.

"I blocked everything out in my head and just focused on the kick. When I looked up I was happy enough to see it go through the posts."

Deans had no doubt O'Connor - a surprise inclusion in the squad when Australia faced New Zealand in Hong Kong two years ago - would kick them to victory.

"To be honest, I was actually very confident," he said.

"James is one of those blokes who wants the ball in those moments as you saw with his carry. It's what you want, it's a great indicator."

It provided a dramatic end to an entertaining game that swung back and forth throughout. Australia established an early 12-0 lead before New Zealand found their stride to stretch out a 12-point advantage with 20 minutes to go before the Wallabies' late rally snatched victory.

The New Zealand captain Richie McCaw felt too many individual errors ultimately cost his side.

"We were under pressure, we had a chance to clear our line and we didn't do that, we gave them the ball back in a good attacking position," he said.

"The guys were trying pretty hard, scrambling on defence and I guess it sometimes comes down to one turnover or not and they got the try at the end, which was pretty disappointing.

"A few of us made mistakes out there that in Test rugby, you can't really afford to make because that can sometimes be the difference."

The New Zealand coach Graham Henry was full of praise for the Australians, who bounced back from the crushing 23-22 defeat in Sydney last month to turn the tables on their rivals.

"The Wallabies played particularly well, that was the end of the game and they scored to win," he said.