The long drought suffered by the Wallabies at Eden Park has continued, with the All Blacks defeating Australia 37-10.
The drought doesn’t look like ending anytime soon. The Wallabies put up a spirited effort and had a real crack. Australia were right in it up to their ears until their capitulation in the last 20 minutes.
All the wash-up from Bledisloe Cup 3:
» LORD: Nick Phipps shines
» Eight talking points
» What changes should the Wallabies make?
» DIY player ratings
» Read the match report
» Re-live the action with our live blog
» Watch the highlights
So why are the All Blacks so dominant and why is the gap so big between them and the Wallabies?
The reasons are many. First of all the diversity of sports available to boys growing up in Australia is huge. The NRL, AFL and football are attractive alternatives to the game of rugby union.
With the youth now being targeted with competitive recruitment drives and carrots being dangled in front of them, it’s little wonder that some prodigious talent is being lost to rival codes.
We then have some baffling selection decisions by Michael Cheika, not least of all being his reluctance to shift Israel Folau to centre from fullback so that he can get his hands on the ball more often.
Folau is clearly the Wallabies’ main attacking weapon with the former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos player regularly penetrating the opposition defence and breaking the first tackle when he’s given the ball.
We also shouldn’t forget how Cheika’s insistence on bringing back players from overseas appeared to backfire on him, with Will Genia the only possible exception.
The main reason though that the All Blacks are the number one team at the moment with daylight second – and why they have just set a record of 18 consecutive Test victories – is that rugby is the national sport of New Zealand.
It’s a religion over there. Over 90 per cent of young boys growing up in NZ aspire to pull on the All Blacks jersey and have the Silver Fern next to their heart.
Why the Australian rugby union and Michael Cheika don’t utilise some former Wallaby greats such as John Eales, Tim Horan and George Gregan to offer some advice, guidance and wisdom to the Wallabies is a mystery to me.
They certainly need to try something new if they ever hope to bridge the ever widening gap between themselves and the All Blacks.