Wallabies are not broken: Michael Hooper
August 23, 2014
Australia's Bernard Foley and Scott Higginbotham reflect on defeat © Getty Images
Michael Hooper insists the Wallabies aren't a broken entity after suffering another demolition by the All Blacks at Eden Park, where Australia waved goodbye to the Bledisloe Cup for the 12th year in succession as a rampant New Zealand recorded their biggest scoreline in trans-Tasman history.
The 51-20 hammering showed exactly why the world champions are No.1, and delivered a sobering dose of reality to Ewen McKenzie's team. New Zealand, stinging from last week's 12-12 draw in Sydney, dominated every facet of the game to continue an amazing 33-match winning streak at their spiritual home.
The Wallabies, kicked off confident with their unbeaten eight-Test run, but they never looked like ending their own 28-year Bledisloe drought in Auckland. Even with Richie McCaw sin-binned within the first half-hour, Australia found themselves down 21-6 after a pushover penalty try was followed by a Julian Savea breakout.
Coach Ewen McKenzie lamented the "passive" start by his overpowered side, while Israel Folau descried the game as one of the most disappointing in his career. "There was no urgency shown as they scored those tries back to back," Folau said. "The scoreboard doesn't help us and they played really well, but defensively there's a whole lot we have to look at as they made a lot of easy yards up the middle."
But Hooper stressed that Australia could, and would, bounce back against South Africa in a fortnight in Perth.
"We're not broken or a broken entity," he said. "There's some good things that have come out of [the past two games]. There's some things that need some serious improvement. We have to learn how to win the big moments and capitalise on mistakes which is what the All Blacks were very good at tonight."
The All Blacks played their energetic, high-tempo game to near perfection, and tries to Folau and Hooper, again Australia's best, provided only a flattering look to the score for Australian eyes.
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