It wasn't supposed to play out like this. This was the Ian Foster test, the Sam Cane test.
This wasn't supposed to be the Dave Rennie test; the test in which the Wallabies would have ended a near 20-year hoodoo on New Zealand soil but for Jordie Barrett's penalty in the final two minutes which tied the score at 16-all and much more after the 80 minutes were up.
And yet, as the rain started driving in, the fact that Rennie's young men stayed in touch with the All Blacks for so long, drew level as the test entered the final quarter, and then almost unbelievably took the lead with a penalty in the final minutes… Well, it was worth celebrating, as was the achievement of this match being played in the first place.
This was the test played in the middle of a pandemic, a triumph of a country's hard work and ingenuity in keeping Covid-19 out and, yes, a triumph from a team in the Wallabies willing and able to play to such a high standard after a fortnight in quarantine.
This was also the test in which the Wallabies announced they are back as a Bledisloe Cup force. The All Blacks should be vastly better at Eden Park next Sunday, a much happier place for them, but who's to say the Wallabies won't be as well?
It was, all things considered, remarkable. While the twin dramas of the first half – Jordie Barrett opening the scoring with a try after Rieko Ioane put a foot on the touchline in the build-up, and then Ioane unforgivably dropping the ball in the act of scoring just before the break – will capture the attention and headlines, the significance of this test and Australian bravery in getting so close to sweet victory is important to remember.
The visitors, playing in front of zero travelling supporters, arrived in Wellington from their Christchurch base only yesterday. They weren't given a prayer, and in hindsight, that's probably just what Rennie, the former Chiefs coach who has just become a true-blue hero across the ditch, wanted. He thrives against the odds and his efforts in leading the Wallabies so close against the All Blacks in New Zealand should be celebrated by all given the circumstances.
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Yes, Ioane's bouncing ball blunder will live long in infamy. But it's difficult to recall a more gritty and courageous performance from the Wallabies. Halfback Nic White sniped and was constantly creative, skipper Michael Hooper, playing his 100th test, was into everything as usual, prop Taniela Tupou, the owner of two of the biggest thighs to emerge from a pair of rugby shorts, was a constant menace.
All Blacks playmaker Richie Mo'unga was flattened again and again as the visitors refused to yield and a match which had been played in near silence for the entirety of the first half reached an extraordinary level of drama in the final minutes.
A kick off the boot of Reece Hodge to make history bouncing back off an upright, debutant Caleb Clarke threatening, threatening, Karl Tu'inukuafe dropping the ball, Cane charging upfield – a wayward pass, one nation left a little flat, another celebrating a true triumph.
The Bledisloe Cup is back; long live the Bledisloe.