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Monday, October 19th, 2020 00:00 |
New Zealand’s Caleb Clarke makes a break during the Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between New Zealand and Australia in Auckland on October 18, 2020. Photo/AFP

The All Blacks played for 20 minutes with 14 men, lost their captain to injury, but still beat the Wallabies 38-21 in the third Bledisloe Cup test on Sunday to sweep the three-match series 3-0.

Fullback Jordie Barrett became the sixth All Black to be sent off in a test match when he was shown a red card in the 17th minute, in what was one of the most contentious refereeing decisions in recent internationals.

Barrett soared high to claim a Wallabies kick, extended his leg before landing, and in doing so made glancing contact with the face of Wallabies winger Marika Koribete.

However, after many consultations, replays and advice of the television official, Australian referee Damon Murphy sent Barrett from the field.

The contact appeared to be not intentional and Barrett, as the player in the air, was entitled under rugby's rules to every protection from any player on the ground.

Koroibete who had run towards Barrett easily could have been sanctioned for making contact with him.

Under the peculiar rules of the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship, the All Blacks were able To replace Barrett after 20 minutes and, in a world first, Damian McKenzie became the first substitute for a red-carded player.

New Zealand's troubles became more severe when it lost first-time captain Ardie Savea and hooker Codie Taylor to head injuries in the first half.

In the face of all of those setbacks, it steadily increased its lead to follow up its 33-25 and 57-22 wins over the Wallabies in the first two Bledisloe Cup test matches.

In the second half, the All Black's stretched to breaking point, David Havili grabbing a loose pass and dashing almost 80 meters to score with Samu Kerevi in close pursuit.

It was the fourth intercept try the All Blacks have scored against the Wallabies in the Bledisloe series: one in the first test, two in the second and another Sunday which impacted Australia's morale at a critical moment.

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