Wallabies expected to bounce back (yeah, deal with it)

…a look at history tells us that this weekend in Wellington might not be so bad. You have to go a long way back to find consecutive Bledisloe disasters for the Aussies – the infamous 1972 ‘Woeful Wallabies’ to be exact. That year they gave up an aggregate of 97 points to 29 across three horribly mismatched tests.

Since then, the Wallabies have copped their fair share of hidings. But they’ve always managed to bounce back and regain some respectability in the next test:

1988 – After getting given a 33-7 lesson in Sydney in the first test, the Wallabies rallied to a 19-all draw in Brisbane for the second. It was the only test the All Blacks didn’t win in a 50 game unbeaten streak.

1996 – The famous 43-6 victory at Athletic Park in the first test meant no one expected anything out of the Wallabies in the second test in Brisbane. They almost snatched victory, at one stage leading 25-9 before conceding a try on the last play of the game to lose 32-25.

2003 – Not even the insanity of then-All Black coach John Mitchell could stop them blasting through the convert-laden Wallabies for a 51-20 win in Sydney. The next test at Eden Park saw a much closer margin of 21-17.

2006 – A 32-12 walk in the park for the All Blacks in Christchurch was followed up by an incredibly tense 13-9 win in Brisbane. The second test marked arguably Richie McCaw’s finest performance.

2014 – OK, so a good few months separated the 51-20 beatdown at Eden Park and the 29-28 thriller at Suncorp Stadium. But the fact still remains that these were consecutive Bledisloe tests.

It’s kind of clear from all of this that the Wallabies are capable of being a pack of bumbling fools one week, but then consistently playing much better next time out against the All Blacks. It’s also very obvious that playing in Brisbane greatly helps their cause, although their 2003 turnaround is about as close as anyone has got to beating the All Blacks on Eden Park in 22 years.

Unfortunately for our Australian friends though, one other thing is painfully clear – they may have played better in the tests after they’ve been thrashed, but they haven’t ever won. It’s pretty hard to see that pattern changing on Saturday night either.

Prediction: All Blacks by 11.

Injuries have probably hit Australia harder, and that may stop the cogs from meshing together.  But you would have to be brave to put a lazy tenner on an All Black loss.  The win is in the bag.  The real questions will be:  How entertaining will it be to watch?  Have the Australians fixed their set-piece problems?  Will moving Izzy confuse the hell out of ’em?


– Jamie Wall, RNZ

  • Isherman

    They have brought back Quade Cooper, and they will be hoping that he can inject something into their game. The problem for this wallabies outfit is everyone else around him, and the woeful skillset that their current test record attests to. If they only lose by 11 they’ll be doing well.

    • Aucky

      I agree Ish. The Genia-Cooper pairing is pretty good but would you back them against Smith, Barrett and a bunch of aggro AB loosies?

      • Metricman


      • Sailor Sam

        Now that Ritchie hs retired, Cheika probably thinks it is safe enough for Quade to play.

        • KGB

          He will still be boo’ed, and he will still deserve it:)
          I’m not good at letting go. When you target a legend like McCaw, you pay your dues.
          McCaw was NEVER a dirty player and did not deserve the attention from Cooper.

    • Bazmeister

      The desperation level becomes apparent with the re-selection of Cooper, especially considering his recent form. Can you see the AB’s ever bringing back what was ostensibly a failure.

  • Metricman

    Never say “its in the bag” to do so is to attract every piece of bad kharma from all across the galaxy. Professional sporting commentators know this well. Especially if they where previously top sportspeople. Having said all that. Its very tempting to proclaim “Aussies – your toast” just as well I didn’t say it.

  • Andrew Gibson

    While you can use history as a guide to a certain extent, I think your optimism of a Wallabies bounce back may be misplaced. It should be closer certainly; but considering the injuries, the undoubted depth of the ABs I’m guessing the AB’s by 10. And all due respect to Quade, would he really be the answer?

  • XCIA

    If the Aussies do a Lazarus, the TAB will take a hiding. The TAB are paying $7.50 for an Aussie win against $1.07 for the AB’s.

  • Eborst

    I do hope that the crowd does not become boorish and boo Cooper. The time for that is past and we should move on

  • Keyser Soze

    This has been doing the rounds… did make me chuckle about poor old Pooper’s performance last week!