Wallabies vs All Blacks Bledisloe Cup first Test preview and prediction

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    Will it be another Bledisloe Cup victory to the all-conquering All Blacks – or are the Wallabies about to experience a sudden form reversal, and knock off the best nation in the world?

    ยป Wallabies vs All Blacks Bledisloe Cup live scores, blog

    Let’s be honest – it’s probably going to be the former. Almost certainly. If it’s the latter, we will all have our jaws hanging open at 10 o’clock tonight.

    The simple facts are that New Zealand haven’t lost their grip on the Bledisloe Cup for thirteen years now, and Australia have won just six Bledisloe Tests against the Kiwis in that time.

    New Zealand have won the last five meetings in a row between the two nations, including four Bledisloe Tests and the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

    That doesn’t mean Australia can’t pinch the odd Test against the All Blacks here and there – and here, at ANZ Stadium, is the most likely place for it to happen.

    Of the six Bledisloe Tests the Wallabies have won since they last held the cup, three of them have come at this ground, including the most recent one.

    But still to pull that off, the Wallabies will have to see a significant reversal of their recent form, both at club level and as a national team.

    In their three June Tests, the Wallabies recorded passable but uninspiring wins over Fiji and Italy, and a disappointing loss to Scotland.

    More concerningly, in the 2017 Super Rugby season, Australian sides played against New Zealand sides twenty six times, and the final record was… 0-26 in favour of New Zealand.

    What about the All Blacks? Well, after a tied series with the British and Irish Lions, they look probably as vulnerable as they have in recent years – which isn’t very much.

    They defeated the Lions 30-15 in the first Test, but then lost the second 21-24 and drew the final match 15-all.

    It wasn’t technically two losses in a row, but it was the first time the All Blacks have had two consecutive non-win results since… scrolling, scrolling… they lost to the Springboks and Wallabies back-to-back in 2011.

    They haven’t played three Tests without winning at least one of them since 1998. The odds don’t bode well for the Wallabies.

    If there had been something dramatic that happened to reverse the respective fortunes of either team in recent weeks, perhaps we could make an argument for the Wallabies’ chances of an upset.

    But all that could qualify is the ARU’s decision to axe the Western Force, which you’d think is more likely to be a distraction than a boost.

    In the end, perhaps all Australian rugby fans can hope for is another unexpected twist in the tale, one which will see the come from nowhere to claim victory.

    Israel Dagg All Blacks New Zealand Test Rugby Union Rugby Championship 2016

    (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Key information

    Kick-off: 8pm (AEST), Saturday August 19
    Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
    TV: Live, Fox Sports 501, Network Ten
    Online: Live, Foxtel Now, Foxtel App, Tenplay
    Betting: All Blacks $1.05, Wallabies $9
    Head-to-head: All Blacks 127, Wallabies 48, seven draws
    Last five: All Blacks 5-0 Wallabies

    Squads

    Wallabies
    1. Scott Sio, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Adam Coleman, 6. Ned Hanigan, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Sean McMahon, 9. Will Genia, 10. Bernard Foley, 11. Curtis Rona, 12. Kurtley Beale, 13. Samu Kerevi, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Israel Folau, 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Tom Robertson, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Lopeti Timani, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Reece Hodge, 23. Tevita Kuridrani

    All Blacks
    1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Liam Squire, 7. Sam Cane, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Beauden Barrett, 11. Rieko Ioane, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Ryan Crotty, 14. Ben Smith, 15. Damian McKenzie, 16. Nathan Harris, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Ardie Savea, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Lima Sopoaga, 23. Anton Lienert-Brown

    Prediction

    We’d all love to be optimistic about the Wallabies, probably even New Zealand fans, who must almost be approaching getting sick of winning by this point. There’s not much reason to be right now, but perhaps they can give us some tonight, even if they fall well short of an actual victory.

    All Blacks by 15 points

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    The Crowd Says (147)

    • August 19th 2017 @ 6:54am
      Sherry said | August 19th 2017 @ 6:54am | ! Report

      Although some Kiwis don’t rate one or two of their bench warmers, the WBs would take any of them in a heartbeat. No way we can pinch any of the three games against an AB squad this strong when we’re so lacking in several areas. But congrats to Curt Rona. Let’s see you fly, man.

      • Roar Guru

        August 19th 2017 @ 7:10am
        Machpants said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:10am | ! Report

        On 80 mins of pro rugby, Rona is a gutsy call! I know nothing about him using missed him playing his few minutes. Exciting times for him.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 1:36pm
          George Maharris said | August 19th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

          80min of pro rugby? what are you talking about? he’s played for the force all year.

      • August 19th 2017 @ 7:23am
        taylorman said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:23am | ! Report

        Very little supports a Wallaby win and it’s probably history that gives the best chances here.

        Sydney is by far the biggest losing city for the ABs so there is that, and with a win and a draw recent years, both also seemingly against the odds at the time, so there’s something in the match being in Sydney that must be some sort of a plus.

        But overall, the team looks a tired one. Much the same names, hopes that have ventured out before and just not clicked when it counts. We still have several individuals who lack balance as players…brilliant at one or two aspects, terrible or physically lacking in others, so we have gap filling, players dropping out of the tackle line etc etc.

        The bad years do seem to correspond with Moore’s captaincy so maybe Hoopers learnt something through that.

        On the ABs side they look a bit tired in parts as well which by injecting players like DMac, Squire and a refreshened Smith and Crotty back, the spark looks good again. We are certainly having to backfill again due to players going north and I think that’s going to hurt more and more, where AB test ready players are now playing more elsewhere.

        • Roar Guru

          August 19th 2017 @ 7:36am
          Machooka said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:36am | ! Report

          Hey TM… the weather is gonna be perfect for fast running rugby. Pretty sure there’ll be no dew so handling should be OK. So whoever gets on the front foot first and maintains that dominance will win. This should be a tasty contest.

          • August 19th 2017 @ 2:44pm
            taylorman said | August 19th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

            Sounds good Chook, despite all the mildly depressing banter going on about this one I’m actually looking forward to it, getting back to some familiarity after the Lions tour.

            For Oz it really is going to be about defence and ‘moments’, for the ABs it’s getting back on the winning bike which means scoring tries again so I think they’ll be out to lift their average for the year up.

            Good luck, we could all probably do with a bit.๐Ÿ˜€

      • August 19th 2017 @ 8:21am
        Jeffrey said | August 19th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        As a kiwi, I would much rather have Kepu over Ofa. Laulala is a much better player and should have been picked. Atu Moli will be world class very soon though, am really excited about him. He’s not ready yet though.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 8:44am
          Bolo said | August 19th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

          Kepu? you serious? that headhigh tackler specialist? nah best we stick with Ofa

          • August 19th 2017 @ 8:50am
            Jeffrey said | August 19th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

            Ofa? You mean the guy who got destroyed by the Waratahs’ mighty prop, Paddy Ryan last year? Kepu is a proven Test player, Ofa isn’t even Super Rugby quality imo. Charlie Faumaina is the biggest loss to NZ rugby, not Cruden or any of the others who have left to the NH.

            • August 19th 2017 @ 9:09am
              Bolo said | August 19th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

              Yes I agree with CF but i’m afraid, kepu is a liability. cheeky should teach him how to tackle cos hes one dirty filthy thug

              • August 19th 2017 @ 10:41am
                Fionn said | August 19th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

                You don’t watch much rugby, do you, Bolo, just read the summaries from the New Zealand Herald?

              • August 19th 2017 @ 11:19am
                Drongo said | August 19th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

                If Kepu is a ‘dirty filthy thug’ then rugby has gone softer than ballet.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 19th 2017 @ 2:19pm
                Shane D said | August 19th 2017 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

                Bolo, Kepu had one game (the 2015 RWC) where he had a case of white line fever.
                Haven’t seen him do that kind of thing regularly enough to be branded a thug though.

            • August 19th 2017 @ 4:30pm
              Highlander said | August 19th 2017 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

              Show me a guy who can scrum both sides, and I’ll show you one who can’t scrum either.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 12:06pm
          Winston said | August 19th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

          Yep, i can’t see why we keep picking this guy with all the other options we have.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 5:31pm
          PiratesRugby said | August 19th 2017 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

          I’m in NZ this weekend. Is the game on free to air? If so, which channel?

          • August 19th 2017 @ 7:01pm
            Dave said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

            Prime

    • August 19th 2017 @ 7:15am
      Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      Good luck to the Wobblies hopefully the mercy rule isn’t enforced…

    • Roar Guru

      August 19th 2017 @ 7:16am
      Rabbitz said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:16am | ! Report

      I am so underwhelmed by the Wallaby management, coaches and playing group.

      My prediction: Another Bledisloe, another thrashing.

      At least in the ‘bad old days’ of amateurism the Wallabies played with intent and pride, they may have rarely been on the winners podium, but were not disgraced. This lot seem to be doing enough to just keep their well paid contracts and nothing more. Zero heart. Zero application. Zero pride.

      • August 19th 2017 @ 8:29am
        kkovak said | August 19th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        From WA go the ALL Blacks we hope the eastern states wallabies gave 50 put on them

        • Roar Guru

          August 19th 2017 @ 8:39am
          Rabbitz said | August 19th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

          Blah Blah Blah

          Evil Eastern states

          Blah Blah Blah

          Meh, time to go and count all that wonderful GST money we’re getting here in the east.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 9:17am
          Ex force fan said | August 19th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Agree, I alsohope the Eastern States get a trashing. Will not even record the game. I am more interested to hear about the lack of interest in this game.

          I am also tired of the Eastern State – Western Force saga, and it can be fixed by reinstating the Force. This saga will overshadow the rugby for as long as it takes and you can help by putting pressure on Clyne and his Board that created this problem. WA fans cannot just get over it as this dumb decision will kill rugby in WA for our children. It is a dumb decisIon that no Australian should accept.

          See more of the mismanagement of your ARU Board in Forrest’s letter to Clyne.

          http://nedlandsrugby.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Letter-to-the-Cameron-Clyne-and-ARU-Board-of-Directors_-Mr-Andrew-Forres-.pdf

          • August 19th 2017 @ 9:37am
            concerned supporter said | August 19th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

            Mate,
            Most people that I know in NSW, disagree with the ruthless culling of the W Force.
            The most positive thing you have done is to circulate the Andrew Forrest letter to the ARU Board.
            How can the ARU Board ignore Mr Forrest?
            John Eales,please read the letter, and do something positive for Rugby in Australia for a change.

          • Roar Guru

            August 19th 2017 @ 11:36am
            jeznez said | August 19th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

            Thanks for sharing the letter EFF.

            Am fuming about this and wondering how a guy like Coleman is going to be able to get himself up for the clash tonight.

            AB’s by 20+

            • August 19th 2017 @ 11:44am
              Fionn said | August 19th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

              Support extends nationally but is predicated on keeping the Force.

              If true, then it seems Australian rugby has missed what will probably be its best opportunity for financial stability.

            • August 19th 2017 @ 3:15pm
              Akari said | August 19th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

              +1 J

          • August 19th 2017 @ 3:08pm
            Jamez said | August 19th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

            That is a great letter. Sadly, i dont think it will achieve much.
            Sooner this drama is over the better, a Win over the ABs would be marvelous for Australian rugby. Heres to a great game tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • August 19th 2017 @ 4:13pm
              stainlesssteve said | August 19th 2017 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

              wait a minute.
              Forrest lays in some very hard words; accusations of corruption, deception and incompetence.
              All totally justified, i think
              Then he suggests that they should resign, IF they continue to refuse to meet with him!
              Shouldn’t they resign anyway, and give back their whole ill-gotten income from the time when they started sitting on their lily-white hands?

        • August 19th 2017 @ 11:25am
          Drongo said | August 19th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

          We don’t want you or need your support. You were never a Wallaby supporter in any case.Put your AB jersey on, enjoy the game and stop pretending.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 2:41pm
          Jake said | August 19th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

          Pathetic, parochial tw_t. I had a lot of sympathy for Force fans but now I couldn’t really care less. The constant whining is as bad as anything the kiwis produce.

          • August 19th 2017 @ 3:59pm
            stainlesssteve said | August 19th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

            i wonder how you have managed not to notice the cacophany of weeping and wailing lately, coming not from Kiwis or Saffas…..?

          • August 19th 2017 @ 6:35pm
            Adrian Denyer said | August 19th 2017 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

            Spot on Jake.

            I’m fully over them, after sympathizing with them all along.

            The inference is that if you come from “over East” you hate them, …. without checking out what you really think. They have turned it into a self fullfilling prophesy

            One thing their language here and in other blogs proves, is they they are more rugged than Rugger!……no way to get on the good side of the ARU chaps

          • August 19th 2017 @ 7:07pm
            Dave said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

            U confuse it with the laughing the Kiwis produce, the whining emanates from you shackle-draggers, as it will again after tonight’s game.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 4:03pm
          ScottD said | August 19th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

          From WA I am looking forward to a great game and hope it close with the WA boys putting in great performances

      • August 19th 2017 @ 9:57am
        glider said | August 19th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        and Folau comes out today and says that he hasn’t been focussed (could of fooled me hah ), that he was seriously thinking about quitting the wallabies because he wants to be in Auckland with his new squeeze.

        Good Grief – do we not have a media manager to advise on these things – couldn’t have picked a worse time to release that news; as a player in the team i would be having my doubts now about whether his mind is on the game at all, as a coach i would be thinking the same thing and the impact of that statement – creating an instant chink in any armour left.

        WTF is it with these people that they just cant keep their mouths shut. Again it sounds like he will again be going through the motions – which has been pretty obvious to most.

        Your last 6 words are perfect and reflects the title of Simon Poidevin’s book – For the Love not the money

        Yes there is a lot of 0fd abies ua

      • August 19th 2017 @ 10:59am
        stainlesssteve said | August 19th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        The Wallabies played some good rugby in the Bledisloe tests last year, Rabbitz
        I don’t think the staff and players deserve such damnation, the board probably does.

        • August 19th 2017 @ 2:05pm
          Jacko said | August 19th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

          And Hooper said they trained fantastically

          • Roar Pro

            August 19th 2017 @ 3:14pm
            Boosho said | August 19th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

            I remember the Wallabies saying that during the 96-97 dark ages – “we trained really well” – only to get smacked by the blacks.

            Look at the team sheet from 97 though:

            15 FB Matt Burke
            14 W Ben Tune
            13 C Jason Little
            12 C James Holbeck
            11 W Joe Roff
            10 FH Tim Horan
            9 SH George Gregan
            1 P Richard Harry
            2 H Michael Foley
            3 P Andrew Heath
            4 L Garrick Morgan
            5 L John Eales (c)
            6 F Daniel Manu
            7 F Brett Robinson
            8 N8 Mike Brial

            The next year, a new coach and one or two positional tweaks and we win 3-0. We need the cleanout now!

            • Roar Rookie

              August 19th 2017 @ 5:36pm
              One Eye said | August 19th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

              You don’t think the retirement or exile of half the ABs from 97 including the whole tight 5, zinny Bunce and Little had anything to do with results in 98?

              • Roar Pro

                August 19th 2017 @ 5:58pm
                Boosho said | August 19th 2017 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

                So much for the famous depth? Give the excuses a rest mate.

        • Roar Guru

          August 19th 2017 @ 2:52pm
          Rabbitz said | August 19th 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

          Despite the fact that the players, coaches and entourage have been less than ordinary for more years than anyone cares to admit, they don’t deserve such damnation? Can you enlighten us as to just how many more decades of poor play, no game plans, out-of-position selections and under-prepared players do we need to endure?

          Also if the playing group doesn’t hold the blame, then who does? Frankly, Pulver and the other trough-feeders are not out there, misreading plays, dropping balls, selecting the wrong players.

    • August 19th 2017 @ 7:32am
      Brumby Bill said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      ABs by > 50 and Boks > 30 every game in the RC.

      The we can clean out the dross.

      • August 19th 2017 @ 10:27am
        MA said | August 19th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        Spot on.

    • August 19th 2017 @ 7:32am
      Brumby Bill said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      ABs by > 50 and Boks > 30 every game in the RC.

      The we can clean out the dross.

    • August 19th 2017 @ 7:34am
      Tommy said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      If australia can take the fear away from playing the abs they might just do the job” I look at australia an there line up an it is a pretty good team guys’. play with heart make the right choices an the abs might no it’s going to take 80mins to win this game ALL BLACKS BY 40

      • August 19th 2017 @ 5:52pm
        Jumbo said | August 19th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

        Despite all the media rubbish floating about, the abs would not be taking the wallabies likely. It’s going to be a tough contest, always is, some times the score board doesn’t suggest so. But I could not imagine playing high intensity like that for 80 minutes, only the players themselves know what it’s like out there. The all blacks just win those small moments, when they take an opportunity and it comes off, if they don’t they lose. There’s such little in it sometimes, but that’s test footy and i love it.. go blaaack

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