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The difference between the All Blacks and the Wallabies

Can the Wallabies beat the All Blacks? (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
Expert
4th August, 2018
143

It’s almost Bledisloe Cup time, the time when the loyal Wallaby fans again hope to break the drought.

The Wallabies haven’t held the massive cup aloft since 2002 and haven’t won at Eden Park since 1986 – that was 17 internationals ago.

A drought alright.

So why do the All Blacks keep dominating the Wallabies?

The answer is very simple. Rugby to the All Backs is a religion, but it’s only a social event for the Wallabies.

Sure the Wallabies have won two Rugby World Cups, but the All Blacks have won three, and more than likely it will be four after Tokyo next year.

At the Super Rugby level, the story is the same.

The Brumbies have won two, the Waratahs and Reds one each.

But the Crusaders, a branch office of the All Blacks, last night won their ninth in 23 attempts and are by far the most successful franchise in the tournament.

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New Zealand franchises won 36 successive Super Rugby games against their Australian counterparts until that streak was broken this season.

So can the Wallabies break their Bledisloe Cup drought?

Yes they can, providing David Pocock is captain, that the tall timbers Adam Coleman and Rory Arnold are the locks and are really aggressive, that whoever is the hooker consistently finds his target, that Will Genia successfully returns from missing eight-week with a broken arm, that Bernard Foley’s goal-kicking boot is deadly accurate, and Reece Hodge is the outside centre.

We can expect Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau to be the flair as the attacking platform on the basis of good controlled ball from up front.

Then, and only then, will the Wallabies rise from a social event to an international threat, knowing rugby will never be a religion.

The other key is coach Michael Cheika.

He’s done battle with the men-in-black nine times, having won the first 27-19 at ANZ stadium in August 2015, and the last 23-18 at Suncorp last season.

But the problems were the seven clashes in between, all comfortably won by the All Blacks.

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And there’s another on-going problem.

Only the All Blacks can do it with a string of multi-talented fly-halves who steered the side superbly and kept potting goals from everywhere.

It started with Grant Fox and his 645 points, followed by Andrew Mehrtens and his 967, then the best of all in Dan Carter with a record 1598, and more recently with Beauden Barrett’s 482.

But it doesn’t stop there – Richie Mo’unga has surfaced, and there’s every indication he may well turn out to be the best of them all.

Richie Mo'unga of the Crusaders kicks the ball

(Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old is the complete footballer, and he’s only been around for “five minutes”.

He made his Test debut against France last June, but last night he was the difference in the Crusaders 37-18 win in the Super Rugby final at Christchurch against the Lions, despite blow all possession and territory.

He set up a couple of tries and landed all seven attempts from all over the park.

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In short, Richie Mo’unga was the ringmaster, and the Wallabies must keep him quiet in the coming weeks.