'The aura has worn off': Wallabies rookie piles pressure on All Blacks
Speaking to the Big Sports Breakfast on Wednesday, Kellaway, who scored his first test try in Saturday’s 33-25 defeat to the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday, said the pressure is on the Kiwis to back their shaky performance up with another win.
Despite securing a first-up victory in the opening match of the 2021 Bledisloe Cup series, the All Blacks were far from convincing in their win.
A sloppy, error-ridden opening half an hour was coupled with an ill-disciplined end to the match as the All Blacks conceded three tries in the final 11 minutes after holding a 33-8 lead.
A clinical third quarter of the match saw the All Blacks run in three tries of their own, as well as a spectacular disallowed try to Sevu Reece, but Ian Foster’s side showed plenty of flaws in their run to victory.
The result means the Wallabies need to snap a 35-year winless drought against the All Blacks at Eden Park this weekend if they are to keep their chances of winning the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002 alive.
However, Kellaway said the Wallabies are confident of bouncing back from last week’s defeat after blowing out the “cobwebs” against the New Zealanders.
“There are no excuses now, not that we’d be looking for them,” the three-test wing told the Big Sports Breakfast.
“You roll out to one of those places like Eden Park – it’s mercurial in its atmosphere and such a tough place to play even at Super Rugby level. We get to do it two weeks in a row.
“We’ve probably put out an unpolished performance on the weekend and you can almost look at it like a dress rehearsal. Now we’re ready to roll.
“I think the cobwebs are out, so to speak. A couple of those boys have played the All Blacks for the first time [now], myself included. Maybe the aura has worn off a little bit.
“To be honest, the pressure is pretty much on them. You don’t want to be the first All Blacks team to lose at Eden Park. There’s no real pressure on our end. Hopefully we roll out there and do a number [on them].”
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Kellaway added the return of star wing Marika Koroibete, who was one of three players stood down from last week’s clash due to a late-night drinking session, will be crucial to Australia’s chances of success.
“He could probably turn up half cut and he’d do a better job than the rest of us,” said Kellaway of Koroibete.
“Not having him hurt us. Hopefully he’s back this weekend. He’s a freak. If he gets a bit of time and space we’ll be riding that wave behind him.”
In saying that, Kellaway acknowledged the importance of starting well and denying the All Blacks the chance to get into their flow and punish the Australians, as they did at the beginning of the second half last week.
“We’re not stupid, we know we have to start well. The other side of that is, like we saw after half-time on the weekend, it’s not just starting well. We’ve got to start well and stay well. It’s going to be a great game.”
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