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How Carter Gordon ‘got back on the horse’ after Bledisloe I defeat

By Finn Morton
Carter Gordon of the Wallabies looks on during the The Rugby Championship & Bledisloe Cup match between the Australia Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

At just 22 years of age, playmaker Carter Gordon was given the keys to the Wallabies’ Ferrari when he was named to start in the No. 10 jersey against the All Blacks last weekend.

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Following back-to-back losses to start their international campaign, coach Eddie Jones selected Gordon at flyhalf ahead of veteran Quade Cooper. It was a bold call ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

With almost 84,000 fans at the world-famous MCG, Gordon and the Wallabies were met with a deafening cheer as they made their way out onto the hallowed turf.

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Once the ball was kicked high into the Melbourne sky, and the match got underway, Gordon showed glimpses of promise during a rapid opening quarter against the New Zealanders.

Playing in the halves alongside dynamo Tate McDermott, Gordon threatened the All Blacks’ defensive line with some quick thinking down the blindside on multiple occasions.

But, unfortunately for the young pivot, things took a turn. Gordon missed what appeared to be a relatively routine penalty shot at goal, and was unable to recover from there.

Gordon was failing to hit the mark with some in-field kicks, and also dropped a clearance from the All Blacks cold. The rising star was replaced in the second half for veteran Cooper.

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Unsurprisingly, Gordon has kept hold of the keys ahead of this weekend’s second Bledisloe Cup Test in Dunedin. Gordon will start alongside McDermott – who has been given the captaincy – in the halves once again.

The pair will look to provide the likes of Jordan Petaia, Mark Nawaqanitawase and Samu Kerevi with quality ball against a new-look All Blacks outfit.

Kerevi, who was joined by replacement Gordon in the midfield against Los Pumas last month, said the Wallabies “back Carter” to bounce back at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

“We back Carter and also Quadey, whoever jumps in that No. 10 (jersey),” Kerevi told reporters on Thursday.

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“Carts as a young fella, he’s got a lot of confidence in himself as well which is really important and drives the teams’ standards and the team well.

“For myself, just keep giving him that confidence to play his game and trust the gameplan that we’ve put ahead of us because that’s all I can do.

“I keep supporting him because at the end of the day, he’ll shine through. These games are like this, (it’s) a great game to grow yourself as a man and as a player and as a leader.

“He got back on the horse pretty quick, and didn’t look down too much. Obviously down about the result but back on Monday, once we landed, we’re back on the horse.”

The Wallabies have been in New Zealand for close to a week now, and have had to battle through some turbulent conditions as they continue to prepare for their ‘rematch’ with the All Blacks.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
5
Draws
0
Wins
0
Average Points scored
36
20
First try wins
20%
Home team wins
40%

Earlier this week, this journalist understands that the Australians trained in some tough conditions. But on Friday, when they ran out onto Logan Park in Dunedin, it was nothing but blue skies.

The same couldn’t be said for the All Blacks, though, who ran out onto the same field later in the afternoon. It was sunny one minute, and absolutely bucketing down the next.

“I think we complained about it maybe on Sunday when we first landed,” Kerevi joked. “The boys’ response throughout the week has been amazing.

“Some boys from Fiji have never seen this type of cold and this type of weather. But Dunedin’s put it on for the first couple of days, I think there was a bit of sun.

“We met some locals and they think we brought the sun with (us).

“Obviously it’s going to be a game under the roof there… the cold is what it is, we’ve just got to get on with it and I think for us the focus has been our team.”

The Test between the Wallabies and All Blacks is set to get underway at 12.35 pm ASET on Sunday afternoon.

It’s the Wallabies’ last Test in the southern hemisphere before heading to Europe before the Rugby World Cup in France. They’ll play the tournament hosts in their final warmup before the tournament.

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Comments

2 Comments
j
john 346 days ago

He'll be fine. Apparently every kiwi or welshman who ever had their first couple of games for the All Blacks or Wales was instantly amazing......

F
Former 346 days ago

I can think of a lot of metaphors for the Wallabies but a Ferrari is not one of them...

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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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