Defeated All Blacks captain Sam Cane has suggested that the Wallabies adapted better to the red cards doled out by referee Nic Berry on their way to a famous, nail-biting Bledisloe victory in Queensland.
Lachie Swinton became the first Wallabies debutant to be red-carded as the hosts rebounded from a record loss to win a chaotic Bledisloe Cup Test 24-22 over New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday.
Both sides were down to 14 men before halftime with Swinton following All Blacks forward Ofa Tuungafasi to the sheds for near-identical high tackles.
Makeshift No.10 Reece Hodge’s boot and a late Taniela Tupou try put the Wallabies up by nine, but it took a crushing Marika Koroibete tackle to snuff out the All Blacks’ hopes after a 78th minute try.
After the match, All Blacks’ captain Sam Cane was asked where he thought it all went wrong for the men in black. “To be honest the game kind of lost it’s shape with all the cards.”
“The Aussies adapted really well. They controlled the game through the forward pack and a lot of kicking off nine. I thought we were way too passive on defence tonight. Australia deserved their win, well done.”
Cane was asked directly about the effect of the cards.
“I think you’ve got to regroup. You’re looking for solutions. A prop is not easy to replace. In the end we had to take poor Akira off on his Test debut. We had to make some changes at lineout time.
“We’re bitterly disappointed. Amazing what a week in sport can do ei?”
“We didn’t have the urgency and intensity in defence tonight. They played through us with their forwards and we were way too passive.”
The All Blacks took the game right up the final minute, when a knock-on sealed victory for the Wallabies.
“I know this team’s character. They won’t stop fighting.
“We can’t leave it until the last couple of minutes. It’s a bit of a reality check. We take a look at ourselves and we’ll have to do a lot better next week.”
additional reporting AAP
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