Underarms, Catamarans and Food Poisonings

First back to back defeats since…

2004 apparently. Seems like ages ago. All Blacks fans are used to their team winning, so following the defeat the the Boks in Dunedin, last nights 35-19 loss to Australia in Sydney is likely to cause fans to reevaluate the belief that the All Blacks are invincible. New Zealand showed glimpses of great rugby, against a solid Wallaby side, but could not keep it up for the full eighty minutes. The Wallabies started far stronger, up 17-5 at half time, and finished far stronger. In the last half an hour the All Blacks threw away a 19-17 lead, with handling errors and poor tackling gifting the Wallabies a confidence boosting win and some valuable competition points.

As the Herald says, fans are going to be wondering if they let the wrong coach go, as the All Blacks game plan last night was at time ridiculous. We spent a lot of time in our own territory, trying to run the ball out of our own 22, instead of kicking for position. When we did kick, all too often the ball was fired aimlessly back into one the Wallabies backs arms, who then ran it back with interest. McCaw’s absence was telling, with the Wallabies completely dominant around the rucks. On many occasions I found myself screaming at the TV for  the All Blacks to come to the aid of the tackled player but to no avail, because the Aussies were there far quicker with far more numbers.

I think both teams tackled poorly, but the All Blacks especially so, missing many simple tackles. In fact, I would even say that every one of the Australian’s tries should not have been scored, for decent tackles would have stopped them in their tracks. I still maintain there is nothing exceptional about most of the Australian backs, they are just solid players who run good lines. On our side the likes of Muliana, Sitivatu and Carter played better games then their lads, but we lost the ball on too many occasions to put the necessary points on the board. Australia did the basics well, and it showed in the end, whilst the All Black’s razzle dazzle was all for nothing as we couldn’t keep the ball from spilling from our hands.

Although New Zealand really dropped away at the end and Australia were able to score some fairly soft points, the All Blacks were robbed not to be awarded a penalty try. It was clear for all to see that Sitivatu was going to score, had he not been tackled without the ball by a desperate Wallaby player. Considering how blatantly obvious the professional foul was, the ref and his assistants, completely missed it, awarding an Australian 22-dropout. It is a joke that such a penalty can be missed, and really proves the claims that the All Blacks are given preferential treatment by the refs is bullshit.

I think Deans is lying when he says coaching the Wallabies against the All Blacks is not emotional. This is a man who has worn the black jersey, grown up in a culture that idolises the All Blacks and mourns their losses. I think that will a hard thing for him to shake off. He may be celebrating his teams victory, and he will be professional, but I reckon part of him aches when he sees a dejected All Black post defeat. Next week in Auckland, with Ritchie McCaw back, hopefully it will our fists raised high and their heads dropped post match.


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