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'Comprehensively outsmarted': Australia left reeling after 117-year record loss in Sydney

By Online Editors
The Wallabies look dejected after the 2020 Tr-Nations and Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on October 31, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

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By NZ Herald

It took just over two minutes for the first thing to go wrong for the Wallabies but from there it has just got worse in the Bledisloe horror show. Here’s how the Aussie media reacted.


‘Horrible’ – Wallabies 117-year nightmare

The 43-5 loss is also the biggest ever losing margin in a Bledisloe match, beating a 43-6 Wallabies loss in Wellington in 1996. In fact, it’s the biggest margin in the history of Trans-Tasman rugby matches, dating back 117 years and 168 matches to 1903.

Wallabies great Phil Kearns backed the Wallabies to bounce back but couldn’t help but notice Australia’s deficiencies.

“Comprehensively outsmarted. Out-experienced, really, particularly in that first half,” he said on Fox Sports.

“The young Wallabies really were taught a lesson in how to play wet-weather football and how to control the football. Their kicking game was superb, short and long and in the middle.

“A bit of a learning experience. The experience they’ve had tonight will be critical in their development.”



As ugly as scoreboard suggests

The Wallabies 43-5 loss to New Zealand at ANZ Stadium – Australia’s heaviest defeat to the All Blacks in 117 years – was as ugly as the scoreboard suggests.

In a year where the world has been turned upside down and the impossible has become the norm – one horrible truth remains unchanged.

The Wallabies are still no match for the All Blacks when the pressure cooker atmosphere of the Bledisloe Cup gets turned up to full blast.

It’s now 18 years in a row that the All Blacks have held the trophy – if anyone’s still keeping count – with no end in sight of when the Wallabies will ever win it back.

For all the buzz and hype about the next generation of young players that are coming through, Saturday’s 38-point flogging was a humiliating reminder of what happens when you pit boys against men.

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We’re hurting

Aussie skipper Michael Hooper: “We’re hurting a lot from that. We really wanted to fly into these two weeks, so it’s a hit to the confidence.

“We were a long way off it tonight. We came up against a really slick outfit but it’s not up the standards we need to be.”

Aussie coach Dave Rennie: “We’re five to six weeks into a four year campaign. All I can say is we’re going to keep working hard. We think we’ve got some good kids coming through. We need to respond immediately.”

“They put a lot of pressure on us defensively. We’ve got to give them credit, I thought they were really sharp and clinical. Their skill set was outstanding in these conditions. They had a really smart kicking game they implemented well. I thought they were top notch and we were a long way off tonight and it’s reflected in the score.”



Dreadful Wallabies drubbing proves Wellington a false dawn

“This year, the All Blacks saved the flogging for ANZ Stadium. The Wallabies were diabolical in the 43-5 loss. The 38-point losing margin made it the worst loss to New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup’s 117-year history.

“Let that sink in.

“Just 20 days after rugby appeared to be on the verge of a desperately needed new era, the All Blacks sent Australia crashing back to earth.


Humiliating ratings

14. Filipo Daugunu: A horrible showing. Nothing went right from the moment he was sin-binned, leading to New Zealand’s first try. As he tried harder things got worse; dropped balls, passes over the sideline. Needs a rest. 3.

10. Noah Lolesio: A try on debut, however was overwhelmed by the occasion and his rivals. Miss-kicks, poor kicks, missed tackles and a lack of direction. 4.


And the Kiwi media

“In Wellington, we saw the Wallabies of the future. In Sydney we saw the Wallabies of the past – shell-shocked, disorientated and all over the place.

“They got a proper look at the big, black machine – saw right into the engine, all the cogs, pistons and working parts – and they recoiled in horror.

“The Wallabies worked themselves up about Caleb Clarke, believing that if they stopped him, they would stop the All Blacks.

“They maybe got too caught up in all that because while they did actually contain the All Blacks No 11 pretty well, they didn’t do a particularly good job at dealing with the real threats that they faced.”

“After opening the door with the first-up draw in Wellington, the All Blacks have subsequently slammed the Wallabies’ fingers in the hinge in the next two tests to deliver Australian rugby a brutal reality check.

“It’s one thing to lose at Eden Park, where the Wallabies last won in 1986. It’s another to be spanked on home soil. Dave Rennie now needs to start from scratch and rebuild confidence all over again before facing the All Blacks in a fourth straight test in Brisbane next week.

“What a daunting prospect that now appears.

“Maybe the Wallabies just horribly mis-read what was coming at them. Or maybe, more likely we witnessed a well-thought out strategic plan by the All Blacks which saw them use their set-piece to great effect and pretty much squash the Wallabies at source.”

By NZ Herald

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'Comprehensively outsmarted': Australia left reeling after 117-year record loss in Sydney