More Pressure on the ABs then the Wallabies

More Pressure on the ABs then the WallabiesThe beauty of rugby union, that distinguishes it from most other codes, is that the game is played all over the globe at different altitudes, latitudes & longitudes with differing styles & attitudes. To win the World Cup you must be able to adapt to these variances, have good fatigue management and a self-belief by the players that they can win. Both of Australia’s World Cups, 1991 & 1999, were won in the United Kingdom, ironically England’s solo Championship was won in Australia, 2003.

South Africa has won the Cup at home in 1995 & in France 2007; whilst New Zealand has only a home win back in the inaugural Championship of 1987. The 2011 World Cup, starting next month, has once again returned to the shaky Isles and they will be expected to win. The devastation caused by the Christchurch earthquakes (still trembling) caused many Kiwis to believe the Canterbury Crusaders deserved to win the Super 15 trophy, now the Webb-Ellis Cup surely is destined to be theirs.

As a prelude to what many pundits are predicting as the World Cup final, Eden Park hosts the No. 1 & No. 2 world ranked teams, the All Blacks and the Wallabies, this Saturday. This ground is where the Cup final will be held so it is of utmost importance in brinksmanship for the winner. Last week the ABs put 40-points on the Springboks, one more than the Wallabies 39 the week before. The Kiwis also limited the Boks to 7, whereas the Aussies let in 20. However, those stats are like comparing apples with oranges. The Wallabies do have to overcome a 25-year drought in Auckland, but they do have increasing pedigree.

This team has a self-belief like no other, so the fact they are playing at Eden Park will matter little. Key members of this Wallabies outfit include many Reds Super 15 stars: Will Genia, Quade Cooper, James Horwill, Digby Ioane, Scott Higginbotham et al, which beat the Auckland Blues at this ground last June as well as in 2009. Kurtly Beale and the Waratahs won at Eden Park in 2009, so saying no Australian side has won there since 1986 is a little bit erroneous. The so called hoodoo will not be a factor.

Winning in Hong Kong last November has also helped instil a belief that Richie McCaw’s men are not the menacing All Blacks of yester-year and that they are just another opposition team. Obviously a win at this ground is important for both nations eying next month’s World Cup, but there is decidedly more pressure on New Zealand to win than Australia.

5 Comments for “More Pressure on the ABs then the Wallabies”

  1. Well now this week IS there more pressure on the Aussies??? Tinkering with the team (from both sides of the ‘dutch’; look what Henry did with the ABs against the mighty ‘Boks in SA…puts that Wallaby loss to Samoa into perspective & Ireland’s loss to Scotland -they were totally outclassed by the French). This is a World Cup year, so all that really matters is that Watford Crystle trophy, called “Bill” by the Aussies, THAT matters. Sure it was great to see the ‘traditional’ Australian powerbase of rugby, Queensland, win the Super Rugby award (they won plenty of Super 10s in the amateur era, conveniently not counted in the ‘professional’ times we live in). Kiwis point blank dismiss that win as nice ‘jester’ but the Webb Ellis Cup is THE one in 2011 (mind you there were a few distraught Crusaders fans that thought it was THEIR turn -they’ve only won it six or so times). Looking to this weekend and I still believe that the ‘rested’ key players will be expected to fire in Brisbane to retain the Tri-nations series -otherwise we’ll have headlines in the Auckland Herald proclaiming, “GUTTED” (great Kiwi expression)…Bring IT on!!!

  2. Yes Dan you are correct in your assessment about using Tri-nation’s matches as a yard stick for the World Cup (South Africa are a classical example). Well done to the All Blacks, the most experienced and capped test side of ALL time against a young, brash group of Aussies. Next week in the Republic, hopefully we will see a more indicative side Springbok side that hopes to retain the William Webb-Ellis Trophey in October. From these last few Tri-nations matches the emerging Wallabies (as well as the young ‘Boks) gained enormously, whereas I don’t think the Kiwis learnt a thing!!!

    • @ CJ, what games have you been watching????
      The All Blacks will take the cup this year, end of story!

      • Hey E.K. I’m not denying that the ABs will go to the World Cup as unbackable favourites, AGAIN; however, history is a cruel reminder that you never count your eggs before they hatch (dui-bu-dui?) Also, New Zealand’s Dominion Post vindicated my assertion that the Eden Park match was more important for the Kiwis than Australia (see this week’s post). Richie McCaw, Dan Carter & co. will be the most experienced and most capped side at the tournament starting next month; which will go a long way to FINALLY getting there hands on the ONLY trophey that has elluded them in the professional era.

        Taking nothing away from the men in black (not England’s dispicable attempt at parity) they still have two more Tri-nations matches away from home soil before the World Cup starts…still to early to show your colours yet!!!

  3. Tisk tisk…one should not use the Tri Nations before the World Cup as a yard stick to judge the outcome of that tournament. South Africa is going to take it again.

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