Richard Ferguson

Worst nightmare or smart ploy?

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, RWC 2011, Springboks, Tri Nations, Wallabies on 29 Aug 2011 at 10:11
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The Wallabies won their first Tri Nations title in ten years on Saturday morning, and this has opened the door to many questions. A few that jump to mind: Did the All Blacks peak too early, yet again? Was it a ploy to instill false confidence in the teams to face the All Blacks later in the competition? Or was a it a case of simply being outplayed on the day?

I am sure most All Black supporters are starting to have nightmares, waking up in a cold sweat, wondering where it all went wrong. To be honest, my thoughts are that the Aussies have played their final and will battle to pull a similar stunt in the World Cup, should they face each other.

Australia came out guns blazing, something I did not expect should you put this game into context. It was a final, winner takes the title, and with it being the final game before the World Cup, one would expect a slower start, like two boxers feeling each other out. That’s definitely what the All Blacks expected!

What the Australians did in those first forty minutes is what most teams only dream of doing, and that was to completely outplay the men from New Zealand, putting immense pressure on them by enforcing a Jake White-like rushed defence. And it worked!

What the New Zealanders proved though, is to never ever write them off as they hit back after half time, drawing level without much effort. This is where the old Australian team would have lied down, getting ready for what should be some pain. But they didn’t, they hit back harder, and through some determined play and some amazing defence, and proved that they can close down tight matches, something they have failed to do in the past.

So where did it go wrong for New Zealand? Firstly, their space was taken away. The Australian rushed defence worked a charm, and with no space, they could do nothing with the little ball they had. Their wingers were punished with quite a few high balls, and could not manage on a night where the ball was slightly slippery. Both Guildford and Jane, although they have amazing speed, lacked the penetration the likes of Gear and Sivivatu offer.

For the Aussies, a few things came to the fore. The value of having a World Class scrumhalf is indescribable, as Will Genia must be the best in world at the moment. With him and Quade Cooper on form, they make a fantastic combination that can break any defense! Another positive is that Adam Ashley-Cooper is better suited to wing, compared to outside centre where he has played quite a bit of rugby lately. James O’Conner will battle to just walk back into this team.

All in all, I think this match has been an ideal curtain raiser for what should be a great World Cup. Will New Zealand choke yet again, will the Aussies be able to dominate as they did this past weekend. And will the Springboks even feature? All this will be answered in the next few weeks.


  • Quite simply – not great for the team to lose – good for the team to gain some perspective… They are still worth a good bet… Until they meet The Boks…

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.08.11 10:25:32 by DarkDestroyer Reply
  • 4 MORE YEARS 😈

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.08.11 10:33:30 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • It does not bode well for either team… Viva le France 👿

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.08.11 10:50:09 by Rahul Reply
  • ROTFL 😆 😆 😆 @ KSA Shark (comment 2)

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.08.11 10:58:21 by Caratacus Reply
  • This game wasn’t played on kiwis’ home ground.
    Carter looked outta sorts and thomson is just a liability in abs team.
    Did like the abs haka-the extended version.

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.08.11 11:25:05 by bergshark Reply
  • So stoked that the Wabblies came away with the win and not the AB’s. Robbie Deans coaching beginning to pay off as well as a very young team starting to gain experience. I dont expect them to do this on consistent basis yet – but in the next year or two this Ozzie team will be unbeatable an will take the next world cup.
    Would just like to say that the Wabblies should great sportsmanship in the the 20+ phase build up to the AB’s try – if the situation was reversed the AB’s would have given away a penalty rather than risk the 7 points.

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.08.11 11:26:03 by Just a Fan Reply
    Just a Fan
  • @bergshark (Comment 5) :
    The haka is becoming boring, not even bothered to watch it anymore.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.08.11 11:27:04 by Salmonoid Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • O’connor adds more flair and skill (and pace) on the goalkicking factor.

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.08.11 11:27:21 by bergshark Reply

  • The haka boring??

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.08.11 11:31:37 by bergshark Reply

  • It would have been better if the AB’s had won and went to the RWC over confident. Now they know that they will have to work harder.

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.08.11 11:40:57 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @bergshark (Comment 9) : Like anything that is repeated over and over year in and year out. Hey but thats only me.

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.08.11 11:48:24 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • The All Blacks wont make the same mistake again…unless there is nothing they can do and are outmuscled again! The 2nd half should send out warning signs though! The All Blacks will keep coming at you until the game is over!

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.08.11 12:13:49 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 7) :

    I never find the Haka boring….I still get shivers when I watch it.

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.08.11 13:30:28 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 13) : I do however prefer the original one..

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.08.11 13:47:20 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • I cannot for the life of me understand the selection of Weepu.

    When you have the worlds “premier flyhalf” why would you not make the most of it and play a scrummie who has a fantastic pass and give the better player an extra bit of time?

    Dont get me wrong Weepu is a wonderful player in his own right, but playing him in front of somebody with a better pass service only hinders Carter.

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.08.11 19:25:26 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I did notice how the All Blacks reverted to typically South African tactics in the second half when they were fighting back?

    Bodes well for us…

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.08.11 19:26:51 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • The Ausies need O’ Connor to kick for them Cooper is too inconsistant, also loks constipated in his stance before kicking :mrgreen: .I thought when the Ausies stood up and faced to Haka with determination we were in for something. I still find it confusing that when the AB’s give their challenge dance that the opposition are forced to stand at the 10m mark and watch, they should be allowed to advance accepting the challenge. Boy are my pioneering ancestors rolling in their graves watching us stand passively by whilst being challenged to a fight. Oh the PC brigade must be laughing in their beers how pathetic. Just remember Wiese staring down Lomu. This set the tempo of the game that followed. ( Wiese and Co. were saying we accept your challenge), but then the IRB had to once again put their mark on the game. ❗ ❗

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.08.11 23:34:37 by Dynamite Reply


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