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A LAST-GASP penalty by captain John Eales saw world champs Australia secure a narrow 24-23 victory over New Zealand to retain the Bledisloe Cup and keep the Tri Nations series alive.

The All Blacks had looked set for victory in Wellington after Andrew Mehrtens and full-back Christian Cullen secured their places in the record books.

Mehrtens, 27, became his country's leading points scorer on 653 with two conversions and three penalties whilst Cullen's two tries took him level with Jeff Wilson's record of 39.

But Australia fought back and stole victory when Eales converted after an All Black hand was spotted in a ruck by referee Andrew Cole.

The Aussie star said: "They scraped by in Sydney and we did today. It was a special game and it has been a great series for quality rugby."

Australia fought back from 23-18 down with a Mortlock penalty before Eales sealed victory.

Muhammad Ali's boxing shoes from his first fight with Joe Frazier in 1971 are to be auctioned in Los Angeles next Saturday with the bidding starting at pounds 75,000.

World Boxing Union heavyweight Hasim Rahman stopped Frankie Swindell by technical knockout after the seventh round of their scheduled 10-round fight.

Australian Irichelle Duran, daughter of boxing legend Roberto, had a split-decision loss in her pro debut to Geraldine Iglesias of Cleveland.

Scots number three Senga McFie beat English 6th seed Kate Allison 9-4 9-1 9-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Indian Open Squash Championship in Madras.

Edinburgh Reivers travel to their pre-season camp at Bath University tomorrow ahead of the start of the Scottish/Welsh League. They face Bath on Friday night at Keynsham's home ground.

Scotland's Allan McNish is in provisional second place on the grid for tomorrow's sixth round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport Park near Toronto.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 6, 2000
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