The Wallabies have recorded a famous win at Suncorp Stadium, winning the so called ‘dead rubber’ Bledisloe IV clash 24-22 against the All Blacks on Saturday.
The first half was marred by controversy, with both All Blacks Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Wallabies debutant Lachlan Swinton both shown red cards for high tackles.
On the stroke of half-time, the Wallabies went down to 13 men after winger Marika Koroibete was shown a yellow card. But instead the hosts seem to rally when they came out of the sheds, with the former NRL player a clear standout despite his 10 minutes in the bin.
The 2019 John Eales Medallist has been a human highlight reel through the four-match Bledisloe Cup series, scoring in both of the tests in New Zealand as a start. In Bledisloe II, he was also held up over the try-line.
But what’s stood out for fans from both sides is how much of an impact the winger is making on the match in defence. Traditionally wingers are there to score tries and while Wallabies fans would still love to see the speedster add to his tally, he’s more than making up for it in defence so far.
In Bledisloe IV, Koroibete ran the second most metres of any player with 83 metres off 11 carries, beating two defenders and having one offload as well. But in defence, he made his mark with some momentum-shifting tackles on the men in black.
Fans on Twitter have been raving about the Wallabies winger, with one even comparing him to the late great All Blacks winger, Jonah Lomu.
— stefan (@StefanRautnbach) November 7, 2020
Hard to imagine a more monumental performance by a wing than @MarikaKoroibete’s in the 25 years since Jonah flattened @EnglandRugby at Newlands. As many cards as tries, 2 reds, 2 yellows. Great Test match.
— Peter Jackson (@JackoRugby) November 7, 2020
So Marika Koroibete is alright isn’t he… #AUSvNZL
— Samuel Woods (@Samuel_w0) November 7, 2020
Marika Koroibete is bloody everywhere.
What a star!#AUSvNZL
— Nathan Brookes (@BrookesyNat) November 7, 2020
— Beth Newman (@bethknewman) November 7, 2020
Marika Koroibete absolutely phenomenal. Fantastic win for the Wallabies #AUSvNZL
— Adam McKendry (@admckendry) November 7, 2020
— Blaze Kippax Ross (@BKRYouTube) November 8, 2020
One of the best games of rugby I’ve ever watched. It had everything!ADVERTISEMENT
— Rollo CrichtonStuart (@rollocs) November 7, 2020
Marika koroibete work ethic ??
Bad man! #AUSvNZL
— It’s Fine (@Peter_Parma) November 7, 2020
— Real Is Rare (@LorenKalz) November 7, 2020
Koroibete made a try-saving tackle on All Blacks winger Sevu Reece with 30 minutes to play, with the match still very much in the balance. In Bledisloe III, he made another try-saving effort when he got in-between a rampaging Caleb Clarke and the try-line.
He all but sealed the win for the men in gold as well due to his defence, with the Brisbane crowd erupting just before the full-time siren after a tackle on All Blacks replacement Damian McKenzie.
After the match, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said that “his aggression in defence created opportunities for us” which has been echoed by fans on Twitter.
— Stevie G (@Steverg1) November 7, 2020
What a response from the @wallabies after being pantsed last week!
May have been a dead rubber but All Blacks dont give up any win easily…. Huge hit at the end from Marika Koroibete to force the turnover at the end and get the win! #AUSvNZL #BledisloeCup #Wallabies https://t.co/YReESXXbudADVERTISEMENT
— Clint W (@Clintwits) November 7, 2020
— Justin Stevens (@_JustinStevens_) November 7, 2020
Marika Koroibete! Wow. What a hit. What a player. Secures the win for Wallabies 24-22 in Brisbane. #AUSvNZL
— James Cole (@jamescolesky) November 7, 2020
— Michael Kelleher (@M__Kelleher) November 7, 2020
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper also sang the praises of his teammate following the win, especially after performing how he did after being sent to the bin.
“He’s a world class winger. He adds so much across the park, both in attack and defence,” Hooper said following the win.
“I was really proud of the way that he bounced back from the card, I thought he came on and made some really smart decisions.
“Sometimes you can chase a game when you feel like you give away and hurt the team. The way he came back on and impacted in a real positive way, it was great for him and it was great for the team.”
The Wallabies have a bye week in the Tri Nations, with their next match set to take place on the 21st in Newcastle. For the first time this year, the Wallabies won’t be playing the All Blacks, and will instead be facing Argentina who beat a Rugby Australia XV that included non-matchday Wallaby squad members, two weekends in a row.
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