Rugby World Cup live scores, blog: Wallabies vs All Blacks
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The biggest game of the decade? It’s the Wallabies vs All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup semi-final – nothing more needs to be said. Join us from 7.00pm AEDT for live scores and an interactive blog of one of the most anticipated games in the 24-year history of the Rugby World Cup.
Everything goes on the line tonight, and to progress to the final to meet the waiting French, one of these teams will need to banish a hoodoo stretching well than a decade to emerge victorious.
For the Wallabies, it’s the 25-year stadium drought at Eden Park, while for the All Blacks, it’s the 16-year semi-final dry spell they’ve endured since their last Rugby World Cup final in 1995.
The buildup for this has been immense but unfortunately, so has the injury lists for both sides.
Kurtley Beale became the latest casualty when he succumbed to a hamstring injury yesterday afternoon, while the All Blacks lost flyhalf Colin Slade to a groin injury last weekend, and Mils Muliaina to a broken shoulder.
Adam Ashley-Cooper will start at fullback while Reds flyer Anthony Fainga’a moves to outside centre, and Rob Horne comes onto the bench.
22-year old Aaron Cruden will start the biggest game of his life in place of the injured Slade, Stephen Donald comes onto the bench while Hosea Gear is also brought in to replace Muliaina.
Crucially for the All Blacks, they regain two integral pieces of their backline in Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui, both of whom will provide a massive boost to a backline who seemed to struggle with direction last Sunday.
Graham Henry has labelled this the biggest game for the All Blacks in a decade, and it is hard to argue.
New Zealand is a nation who has had to cruelly endure watching some of the greatest rugby teams in recent history continue to fail when they shouldn’t; and now as hosts, another catastrophic loss would be too painful to bear for some.
And their form going into this tournament and the early pool games would indicate the drought should be broken tonight, but there is no doubt the All Blacks are a different team without Dan Carter and there’ll be more than a few New Zealanders with sweaty palms.
Yet their opponents have not exactly been in tournament-winning form themselves, and seemed to be deriving a little too much confidence from their 11-9 defeat of the Springboks.
They were solid in defence, but in essence the Springboks beat themselves and the injury the Brussow did them no favours either.
But if the Wallabies’ backline churn out a repeat performance, they could be in for a long night and an early flight home.
But little more needs to be said in the way of analysis.
Everyone knows that the All Blacks hammer the Wallabies at Eden Park as sure as night follows day, yet have failed to beat them in two attempts at Rugby World Cups and can’t progress to a final to save themselves.
The time for numbers, questioning, speculation and buildup is over. It’s time to play rugby, and for two nations to come to a complete standstill.
An epic is on the cards, and this could very well prove to be the greatest game in Rugby World Cup history. What’s going to unfold? Join us from 7.00pm AEDT for minute-by-minute live score updates and an interactive live blog, and do not hesitate to leave your opinions below!
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