The Wallabies start on fire in 09
The Wallabies are far from Wannabies under stern coach Robbie Deans; their 09 season has got off to a flyer against the Babaas.
With a couple of less than memorable seasons prior to Robbie coming to town the Wallabies looked lost, little things like backing yourself to make the corner as a winger, seemed out the window. Since the Dingo Deans has arrived, there has been a spark of enthusiasm, an up in tempo and all of a sudden the confidence is sky high and the boys are playing out of their skins.
In 08 they pushed the All Blacks and South Africa very hard, some would say they let the AB’s off the hook. If there was any doubt they don’t know how to go on with the job, this will for sure be wiped after watching them paste the Babaas right to the full time whistle over the weekend.
Deans has an art of extracting goodness out of his players, he scans the scenes and finds the next great thing in rugby boots. In his blend at the moment is a heap of men who played in the Pacific Nations Cup last season, as well as some 18 and 19 year old sensations.
Inspired by master number 10 Matt Giteau, the Wallabies scored eight tries to one and dispatched Sonny Bill Williams, 9 other Kiwi’s and the rest of the Northern men that made up the global Barbarians.
This whole match was billed on big things, SBW as he is known was returning to the city he evaded last year and had his sights set on Stirling Mortlock. Near 40, 000 people crammed into the Sydney Football Stadium to watch this and the fireworks did start early, but either the matches ran out, or the men from up north eat a lot more pies than the Australians do. Pure fitness won the day, the home side hit power early on, there was a lull in the middle, but they always had control on this match.
The Green and Golds had a new back 3, Winger Drew Mitchell showed why he is in and Lote is out, he was hungry all night for the pill and showed plenty of toe to score 2 fine tries. His work ethic and finishing skills will ensure we see a lot more of him in a test jersey this winter.
Looking at the side that came second there are some great names in there, each of them worth a ticket to the footy, or at the very least flicking on the Sky TV. Luke McAlister is on his way back to NZ, in fact over the weekend he has just been called back into the squad, he had his first shot at Giteau, he won’t be totally unhappy, but cool hands Luke looks a tad rusty. What will have NZ coach Graham Henry smiling is a couple of slicing runs he made into Australian territory, in this match there was no real pace outside him to finish the job, when he is in a black jersey the likes of Sitiveni Waica Sivivatu will bolt home.
In the end fitness ruled supreme, the Australians got faster as the match went on, the men from up north tired. Robbie Dingo Deans wheeled in fresh legs and youth, these young fellas liked the experience and took the chances with great displays and even bagged tries.
This Wallaby team has had the ideal warm up, now comes Italy, France and the loved Tri Nations & Bledesloe Cup. There is a sense that the Australian team is molding into something special. Guys like Horwill, Ben Alexander, David Pocock, Drew Mitchell & James O'Connor, mixed in with Stirling & Giteau make for a dangerous cocktail of rugby union this year and beyond.