Deja vu for Deans and Wallabies
August 8, 2010
Australia reflect on their latest loss to New Zealand © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was once again left to rue the All Blacks' borderline work at the breakdown following his side's 20-10 Tri-Nations defeat in Christchurch.
Devastated the Bledisloe Cup would reside in New Zealand for another year, Deans largely praised the New Zealanders but repeated his analysis of last week's loss in Melbourne, when he said his side were undone by opponents who knew how to disrupt at the tackle without paying a hefty price.
"They're a very well organised defensive side and that's probably the one thing they do best, is they slow ball, which allows them to bring their organisation and athleticism into play," Deans said. "It was a better effort from us. We produced a lot more position, a lot more possession, but the All Blacks were successful in denying us momentum, which would have been helpful in terms of converting possession into points."
Deans had previously been outspoken about the All Blacks' high penalty count in Melbourne which never led to a sinbinning. He could be equally disgruntled after New Zealand conceded seven of the first eight penalties last night and ultimately lost the penalty count 11-6 yet referee Jonathan Kaplan never brandished a yellow card in the manner of those who have whistled before him in this Tri-Nations.
The Wallabies dominated possession and forced the All Blacks into defence mode for long periods. A big let-down was failing to take advantage of the sizeable edge in possession and field position.
"We're going the distance a little bit better and at test level," Deans said. "If you aspire to beating the All Blacks, you've got to play your hand when it presents itself and make the most of those moments. And we weren't able to do that.
"That's what they did do, they scored effectively a couple of times when we weren't able to do that. We scored once and that finishing was the point of difference in the game."
Canterbury's favourite son, Deans ensured his god-like status in red and black country would remain by talking up the All Blacks' playing style this year, even though it was smothered to a degree by the ball-hogging Australians last night. He hoped New Zealand and other sides would take the same attacking attitude into next year's World Cup.
"The possibilities are there for all teams. They've been the most successful at it to date," he said. "It's important for the game that the rugby played at the 2011 World Cup is distinct from 2007. The 2007 World Cup rugby was not appealing to anybody, apart from the group who won it (South Africa)."
The Wallabies get two weeks off and captain Rocky Elsom said it was thoroughly deserved after a huge effort from his team-mates to end their losing streak against New Zealand. "I was really proud of that. To a man, every guy out there put everything they had into getting over the line. We didn't get there but it wasn't through lack of trying."
Team-mate Adam Ashley-Cooper hopes the fans keep the faith with the team and is adamant the Wallabies are close to turning a corner. "Over the last nine games, the results don't reflect the closeness in the teams, the narrowness," he told AAP. "The losses don't reflect how tight it is between the two Test teams. It hurts, but we're definitely due and we know that and I think once we finally get that win, it will be huge for us.
"It's good to know that we're not peaking yet - we want to peak next year - but, as a team, everyone knows that we're building and that we're getting better. If we can continue doing that, then next year holds great hope for us."
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Red cards, uncontested scrums, end-of-season wobbles and schoolboy errors - the Monday Maul looks back over the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures includes puffed players, dismissed players and training in the snow
The new European competition is now a reality and rugby will be better as a result. John Taylor looks at the deal as the dust settles