Right now the Wallabies are feeling the Bledis-LOW, the valued piece of treasure has been with the All Blacks a bit too long and tonight the heat is on.
History, Monkey on the back, record loosing streak and pressure are key phrases that the media is firing at Robbie and the Wallabies as they prepare to face the All Blacks in Christchurch.
Now the interesting part is that this is all fair enough, it is also fuel for the wounded and there is nothing quite like an Australian under pressure with their back against the wall. Tonight is the start of respect, it is also going to be a mighty challenge for the men in Gold to achieve, tough is an understatement, but achievable? yes!
One common link with Kiwi’s and Aussies alike is that they thrive on the underdog tag, toppling the world at many things when many people think they haven’t got a hope in hell of doing so.
Robbie must be twitching at night, he is back in his old home town,it is a place that if he ran for Mayor he would bolt in. The twitching and funny urges will be that he cemented a legacy in Christchurch, firstly as a player and then as a super coach, now the great structure he built he must destroy.
In 80 minutes tonight we will see if it was built with concrete, or was it a sand castle he can unlock.
One thing for sure is Robbie believes he is on track, well for the 2011 RWC anyway. This topic rises to the surface and be it a decoy, or reality, a win soon is a must for his master plan to have time to pan out. Without a win or some true guts oozing out over the rugby field, these Wallabies need to indicate that the tide can be turned under Robbie's guidence.
No doubt Robbie is a guru and here are a few quotes from him this week.
“We want more”.
“ We don’t like loosing moments in games, net alone the whole game”.
“This time will serve this group well, regardless of the outcome in the weekend.”
“Pressure is what you allow to impact on yourself, you can’t see it, pressure is not visable- our team has to master their own emotions.”
Writing this article I am a Kiwi fan from way back, the signs of this season have been pleasing, however against Australia caution is always near the minds thoughts. The All Blacks were nothing short of class and destructive against South Africa in Auckland, since then they have been good, but not great.
Australia will be gutted beyond belief, now is the time for the Aussie battler tradition to come to the fore.
Australia v New Zealand at Christchurch – Historical Notes
- Australia won on its maiden appearance at the then Lancaster Park in 1913, inflicting a 16-5 defeat on New Zealand in what was the first ever Test match at the venue.
- Saturday night represents the 16th game between the two teams in Christchurch, with New Zealand having won nine times, while Australia has claimed six wins, most recently 27-23, 12 years ago.
- Australia’s 27-23 win over New Zealand in 1998 is the last instance of the All Blacks being beaten in a Christchurch Test. New Zealand has won 10 straight in the city since that match, with Australia twice falling during the unbeaten run.
- Australia won five of the first six trans-Tasman Tests played in Christchurch (in 1913, 1921, 1928, 1952 and 1958), but has prevailed just once in the time since.
- Current Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was the coaching coordinator of the All Blacks when New Zealand beat Australia 12-6 at Christchurch in 2002.
- Saturday night will see Nathan Sharpe play his 85th Test match, setting a new record for the most games by an Australian second-rower, edging ahead of the 84 games as a lock played by ex-skipper John Eales.
- This is the 162nd match of a trans-Tasman rivalry between teams representing Australia and New Zealand that dates back to 1903 when New Zealand won the inaugural meeting 22-3 in Sydney. These figures include 39 matches played between 1920 and 1928 when NSW represented Australia in matches that were granted official Test status by the Australian Rugby Union.
- Of the 161 games played between the two nations, New Zealand has won 111 and Australia 45, with five draws – the most recent of which occurred 20 years ago, 19-19 at Brisbane in 1988.
- The Bledisloe Cup was donated by the then Governor General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe, for competition between the two countries in 1931.
- Australia won the trophy for the first time in 1934, beating New Zealand 25-11 in Sydney.
- The last example of an Australian win on New Zealand soil was in 2001, when the Wallabies scored 23-15 in Dunedin. The All Blacks have won the 10 games that have been played between the two teams in New Zealand since that match.