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Rory Arnold 'up there alongside Retallick'

Is Rory Arnold one of the best performing locks in the world? (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Towering Wallabies lock Rory Arnold has downplayed suggestions he’s at the same status as injured All Blacks star Brodie Retallick, widely regarded as the world’s best.

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The Brumbies’ big man was almost flawless in the Wallabies’ 47-26 shock win over the All Blacks in their Bledisloe Cup clash in Perth.

As well as anchoring the lineout, Arnold had a try-assist and a couple of tackle busts as the Wallabies’ tight-five excelled.

Former Wallabies skipper turned television commentator Phil Kearns said Arnold was “up there alongside Retallick”, who is known for his pace and try-scoring efforts as well as his set-piece work.

Before the return clash in Auckland on Saturday which will decide the Bledisloe Cup, 29-year-old Arnold wasn’t so sure.

“Maybe Phil’s hamming up that with those comments,” he said on Monday.

“I don’t think I’m doing a hell of a lot different to the last few years; I’m just enjoying my footy.”

Signed to join his brother Richie at French club Toulouse after the World Cup, Arnold said he was determined to make his last hurrah in a gold jersey count.

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“Maybe it’s the fact that I’m heading overseas and this is my last season in (the) Wallabies, I’m not sure,” he said.

“I just want to keep building and keep moving forward.”

Retallick is currently sidelined after dislocating his shoulder last month against South Africa, with the injury threatening his World Cup campaign.

The All Blacks also face a nervous wait on the outcome of a SANZAAR judiciary hearing after lock Scott Barrett was sent off in Perth.

Barrett could face up to six weeks out for a no-arm tackle that collected the head of Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper.

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Barrett had replaced Retallick, with the All Blacks depth falling away with Patrick Tuipulotu or Jackson Hemopo possibilities to come in and partner Sam Whitelock.

Arnold believed they would still be a force and said the Wallabies wouldn’t be targeting the All Blacks lineout as a weakness.

“They’ve got a lot of good depth there in New Zealand,” he said.

“I’m sure the next bloke that comes in for those fellas will be just as good as what they are.

“I think it’s going to be a very close contest.”

The Wallabies have started a low-key Bledisloe build-up in Melbourne rather than flying to Auckland.

They are trying to break through for their first win at Eden Park since 1986 which would secure the trans-Tasman trophy which has been in Kiwi hands since 2003.

Arnold said the Wallabies would need to lift, just as the All Blacks always did at their spiritual home.

“Historically it’s obviously a hard place for the Wallabies to win and I can’t remember the last time,” he said.

“I’ve only played there once. It was pretty intense. The crowd’s pretty hostile.

“They just seem to lift whenever they play (there) and that’s the challenge that awaits us this weekend.”

– AAP

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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