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The All Blacks host the Wallabies on Sunday afternoon at Eden Park, Auckland. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 2pm (AEDT).
‘Get Even’ Park. This is the place where the All Blacks exact their revenge on the Aussies to quash dreams of winning the Bledisloe Cup.
Last year, the Kiwis massacred the Wallabies via a 36 to nil score, following a rare Aussie win in Perth. In 2014, the Wallabies were dismantled by 31 after a 12-all draw in Sydney.
Lately, the losing margins in Eden Park have been embarrassing for the Wallabies. The All Blacks’ margins from matches played in 2018 backwards to 1988 were 28, 27, 31, 22, 16, 6, 29, 14, 7, 10, 10, 4, 19, 12, 3, 10 and 12.
This was preceded by an Alan Belford Jones-coached Wallaby win in 1987, 22 to 9. The only two other winning occasions were the year the Soviets detonated their first nuclear device (1949), and the year the McDonald’s franchise started (1955).
So while a lot of pundits are excited about a possible win via a Dave Rennie-inspired renaissance, I am not.
Eden Park is a fast track. The All Blacks are fast. Even the best Wallabies team ever put together 30 years ago could not beat them there.
The All Blacks changed a bunch of players as Ian Foster moved out the underperformers. He brought in Beauden Barrett to rejoin his brother.
Today, the Wallabies installed a faster back row with a better lineout by shifting Pete Samu out and Ned Hanigan in. If they can retain their good defensive performance, the Wallabies can hold their heads high. But their main job, as it was last week, is to control the pace of the game.
The entire southern country is mad. The All Blacks are mad. The plan to get even. It will be in Eden Park. The alternative would be even crazier than last week’s match.
Kick-off: 2pm (AEDT)
Venue: Eden Park
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Ben O’Keeffe
15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mounga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Damian McKenzie
15 Tom Banks, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Jordan Petaia, 23 Reece Hodge