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(From Agence France Presse)
New Zealand withstood a ferocious late rally to defeat Australia 21-17 and regain the Bledisloe Cup in a pulsating Tri-Nations championship match at a rainswept Eden Park here.
The All Blacks, who had already secured the Tri-Nations crown, made sure of finishing their season on a triumphant note thanks to two first-half tries from wing Doug Howlett and three penalties from Carlos Spencer.
But the New Zealanders -- who had thrashed the Wallabies by a record 50-21 margin in Sydney last month -- were clinging on in the closing stages as Australia threw everything into a spirited late assault.
Relieved New Zealand coach John Mitchell admitted there had been little too choose between the sides for long periods.
"But I believe we were …