Ugly truth: Wallabies-Samoa post-mortem
Faith: the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. In other words, if you can see it and believe it, you can have it.
‘Faith’ defines the mindset of Samoa’s first XV who savaged a stonewalled Aussie outfit, that woke up this morning, feeling like they’d been run over by a big brown bus.
How else can you explain the giant Aussie superpower, being forced into submission by a little Pacific nation ranked tenth on the IRB’s list?
Because in theory, the second-ranked Wallabies were at least 30 points better than Samoa; on paper that is.
There was another profound aspect to Samoa’s approach to this game in the tangible outworking of their core belief.
And it was this. Nothing levels the playing field faster than pure unadulterated physical aggression. The proof; Samoa 32 over the Wallabies, 23.
If a side exerts such physical dominance to the point of creating fear in the minds of their opposition, the best game-plan, reputation and ‘team on paper’ is effectively screwed up and tossed out of the window.
The Samoans have always had a fierce defensive reputation. So have the Tongans, the other Pacific nation to have walloped the Wallabies back in 1973.
Every World Cup highlight-reel features a victim of an infamous Pacific torpedo. It’s all about the timing, although accuracy is often found wanting.
But not on this occasion. The Samoans couldn’t miss, their defensive radars so finely tuned that anything in green and gold that remotely looked like moving was effectively obliterated.
It was indeed a physical annihilation of epic proportions. Australia’s big men (and big egos) were cut down to size, literally and figuratively.
The shock-factor though, was that nobody saw the big brown bus coming. Too busy naval-gazing at their post-Super Rugby self-importance.
The proof of Aussie distain towards their Pacific challengers was in passing-up three easy penalty-goals in the first 20 minutes, which would have been understandable if they looked like scoring. But they didn’t.
And as the Samoans piled on the big hits and the points, disillusionment became increasingly apparent in the countenance of fifteen sorry Wallabies.
30,000 fans and confused Aussie commentators waited impatiently for the tide to turn.
As the game wound down, it became apparent that this tide was in fact a Samoan Tsunami, that grew bigger and bigger until the final whistle, at which stage the Wallabies were well and truly, dead and buried.
Sweet victory for Samoa. And for the Wallabies, well, roadkill.
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