The All Blacks had two tries disallowed within a minute when Carter was called back after Joe Rokocoko's pass was ruled forward and Cowan's try was disallowed when referee Jonathan Kaplan ruled that flanker Jerome Kaino interfered with Benn Robinson's intending tackle close to the Australian line.
SHOOT: I missed the game but looks like the All Blacks dominated and deserved to win.
SYDNEY — Dan Carter kicked a penalty goal two minutes from time to give New Zealand a pulsating 19-18 win and end Australia's Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup hopes here on Saturday.
The All Blacks powered back in the second half after trailing 12-3 at halftime to score the only try of a titanic struggle and keep alive their chances of retaining the southern hemisphere championship.
New Zealand's gripping win puts them four points behind series leaders South Africa with two home games left to play next month.
The All Blacks also retained the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup with two wins over the Wallabies and two matches left to play.
Replacement centre Ma'a Nonu scored the only try of the contest 16 minutes from the end but the All Blacks had two other tries disallowed as they dominated second half territory and possession.
It was another gut-wrenching finish for the Wallabies, who have now lost their last five internationals against New Zealand since their last 34-19 win here last year.