The Wallabies failed to learn from past mistakes and were hung, drawn
and quartered 49-28 by New Zealand on Saturday night to fall to their
worst home loss in seven years.
Australia were their own worst
enemies at Etihad Stadium to lose any realistic hope of regaining the
Bledisloe Cup but nothing can be taken away from the outstanding All
Blacks who all but sealed the Tri-Nations title half-way through the
competition with the seven-try rout.
After the excitement of the
vibrant 30-13 win over South Africa, the Wallabies, desperate for a
consistent back-to-back performances, once again returned to earth with
an almighty thud.
It was their biggest loss on home soil since
suffering a 50-21 defeat to NZ in 2003, capping their worst trans-Tasman
losing streak in 63 years.
All Blacks maestro Dan Carter
finished with 19 points and skipper Richie McCaw was a stand-out in
their scintillating display to guide his team to their eighth straight
trans-Tasman Test win – their best run since 1947.
of Australia’s previous seven losses came after they leading at
halftime, they were blown away in a 15-minute period in the first half
when the visitors turned on three tries.
They once again fell into bad habits and paid the price.
Restarts were not claimed, kicks failed to find touch and crucial tackles weren’t made.
Everything had looked good early as the home side tested the world’s top team with their fast-paced continuity game.
Giteau opened their account with a fourth-minute penalty following his
own 70m line-break, but the Wallabies allowed Carter to square the
scores from the kick-off.
Even worse was to follow in a crazy start.
Drew Mitchell charged down Carter to score in the right corner, but the
All Blacks’ five-eighth immediately made amends by charging down an
off-key Berrick Barnes to score himself.
conversion put the visitors in the lead 10-8, and they widened the
margin to seven after Jerome Kaino forced a ruck turnover off Mitchell
to spark a slick counterattack which ended with Mils Muliaina crossing
from a desperate Cory Jane chip.
While the Wallabies were able to grow their score through penalty goals, the more clinical All Blacks did it through tries.
it more galling for Robbie Deans, NZ’s third five-pointer, to McCaw who
swooped on loose ruck ball, came while they were down to 14 men with
prop Owen Franks sin-binned for a shoulder charge.
It was a blow that gave NZ a 22-11 lead and seemed to break the Wallabies back.
then copped the first of his two yellow cards and while he was off Jane
pushed off a flimsy attempted tackle by Richard Brown to cross in the
corner for a bonus point and a 32-14 half-time lead.
The bonus-point win lifts the All Blacks to 15 points from three games to have a firm grip on the Tri-Nations trophy.
(4) must win next week’s return clash in Christchurch to stay alive
while defending champions South Africa (0) are out of what looks a