5 Things We Learnt From Bledisloe 3

Sun, 05/09/2021, 08:31 am
Jim Tucker
by Jim Tucker
The All Blacks cruised to victory as they defeated the Wallabies at Optus Stadium

The Wallabies don’t need a coach they need a seamstress to stitch together their best passages of plays and throw the ragged off-cuts in the bin.

For a third straight Bledisloe Cup, the waste of the Wallabies was the killer in a 38-21 loss to the All Blacks at Perth’s packed Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

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The All Blacks were superb and it started with backrower Akira Ioane, who had a brilliant match

When fine tries were constructed for Folau Fainga’a, Tom Banks and Nic White, the Wallabies looked good.

There was so much impatience and pushed played and just not enough support players when breaks were made. 

Halfback Tate McDermott was refreshingly honest: "It's Groundhog Day...we are pretty soft at the moment." 

1 RESPECT

The All Blacks were magnificent and the variety to the way they score their tries shows how well they know each other’s games and how connected they are.

Take the Jordie Barrett try set up by a lovely Beauden Barrett grubber kick. It wasn’t just one player chasing but two or three so there were always support players when the kick paid off. 

The far less experienced Wallabies do it occasionally but look like strangers at other times. Not clinical enough.

2 WORK THE WEAKNESSES

The Wallabies made big inroads up the middle, whether from ruckbase darts or inside balls. That’s called a weakness to exploit. Keep going there as Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Samu Kerevi and others showed.

There’s nowhere in the literature where it says you have to fling the ball wide. Samu’s scoot and pass for the Nic White try was a perfect example as was the McDermott dash in the lead-up to the Folau Fainga’a try.

You can’t have a one-man advantage via a red card for 20 minutes and concede ground 0-5 in that period.

3 SAMU KEREVI

There was a really encouraging display from centre Samu Kerevi in his first Test since late 2019. He threw two fine passes in the lead-up to the Folau Fainga’a try and he couldn’t throw balls that good in 2019.

He always seems like a player improving and trying to keep improving. Moving to his centre partner, Len Ikitau is making good progress.

When he was caught from behind just before half-time, there needed to be another support player with enough faith to chase hungrily believing the team was going to score.

4 FULL-STRENGTH HALFBACKS

Both Tate McDermott and Nic White had excellent games. Both challenged the first and second defender around the ruck to good advantage. 

McDermott has been a real asset for the Wallabies and his jinking run to set up the roll for the Fainga’a try was first class. White’s own scoot and switch to Tom Banks on the inside set up a try too.

5 DAVE RENNIE

The coach’s honeymoon period is over. When your team is a serial offender with long passes being intercepted by hungry Kiwi hands and impatient errors, you have to put a little acid back on the coach.

Three wins and three draws from 12 Tests in charge is tempered somewhat by seven of those Tests being against the All Blacks. 

Proving the snapshot gains against the All Blacks are meaningful requires some big displays against South Africa and Argentina in the month ahead. The Wallabies had two draws against Argentina last season.

Only two wins are acceptable this year plus measuring up against South Africa. Let’s say it now...the Springboks will press hard in defence so the intercept bogey will still be there. Be smarter. 

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