The Wallabies have broken their seven-game losing streak against the New Zealand All Blacks, thanks to a superb team effort peppered with moments of outstanding individual skill from the Australians in Brisbane.
Designated kicker Bernard Foley pulled a few shots at goal to the left during the game and utility back Reece Hodge took over the kicking duties in the final quarter.
He nailed two pressure kicks to help Australia to a 23-18 win.
With two minutes to go, Hodge took on a giant 53m penalty kick, one of the longest shots at goal you’ll see in Test rugby. Here it is:
“It was pleasing for one to finally go over,” Hodge said after the game. “I probably haven’t held up my own in that end; kicking the long range ones over the past few months. I was happy that a couple went over tonight. That’s what you practise for, to make them high percentage shots.
“I was actually on the other wing and they pointed to the posts as I came over and Nardy [Bernard Foley] was telling me I was taking it. I was a bit nervous. It just got over thankfully.”
Long kicks like that Hodge made in Brisbane are often seen in games played at high altitude — where the ball flies further thanks to the thinner air — but the standard response in a Test rugby match to a penalty at that distance is to play for territory with a kick to the sideline.
To show Hodge really does practice these kicks, here’s a video he posted on Instagram a couple of years ago slotting one from 76m out with a bit of help from the wind.
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