'They blew it': Ex-All Black slams Wallabies for missed opportunity
Sir John Kirwan has slammed the Wallabies for missing the chance to snap a 35-year winless drought against the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday.
The All Blacks defeated the Wallabies 33-25 in Auckland over the weekend in the opening Bledisloe Cup clash of the year.
While the Kiwis did enough to secure a win, their performance was far from convincing as a slew of errors in the opening half an hour and a penalty-ridden finish, which enabled the Wallabies to score three tries in the final 11 minutes, marred the victory.
The sloppiness of Ian Foster’s side has come under scrutiny since the encounter, and Kirwan believes the Wallabies missed a chance to take advantage of New Zealand’s inaccuracies.
Speaking on The Breakdown, the 1987 World Cup-winning great said the Wallabies aren’t going to be afforded the same number of opportunities to punish the All Blacks as they received last weekend.
“I think that you’ll never get the All Blacks making that many mistakes in the first 20 minutes, and the Australian team did not capitalise on it,” Kirwan said.
“The fullback [Tom Banks] at one stage, instead of kicking to the corner, he made this kick that was like 20 yards, then they got down and lost their lineouts.
“The All Blacks are not going to make those mistakes again. You’re not going to get the opportunity to mount pressure again.”
Kirwan reserved some praise for the fortitude Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie has established within the Australian camp, which the former 63-test wing said was key to their test series victory over France last month.
However, Kirwan remained critical that the Wallabies failed to capitalise on All Blacks’ ill-discipline.
“I think Dave Rennie’s done a great job with their character, we saw that against France when they came home late, but I reckon they missed an opportunity to really put us under the pump,” Kirwan told The Breakdown.
“I was sitting there watching the game thinking, ‘Three penalties in a row and two errors from the All Blacks, we should be pinned in our corner just defending our butts off trying to stay in it’, but it wasn’t.
“So, they blew it, I reckon, and they’re not going to get that opportunity again.”
The Wallabies haven’t beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986 and haven’t held the Bledisloe Cup since 2002.
Australia will have another chance to end their lengthy losing streak against the Kiwis at Eden Park this weekend as the All Blacks aim to lock away the coveted silverware for a 19th straight year.
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