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Ali Williams lauds Wallabies' mentality

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'We have to give Australia some credit for how they mentally manipulated us'

Former All Blacks lock Ali Williams has urged Steve Hansen’s team to forget about processes and go for broke – or else kiss the Bledisloe Cup goodbye.

Williams said he had never witnessed Australia dominate New Zealand, both physically and psychologically, to the extent they did in last weekend’s 47-26 drubbing in Perth.

He believes his former team aren’t being helped by the pressure to play in a certain way six weeks out from starting their World Cup title defence and has called on Hansen to ease the valve on Saturday at Eden Park.

“We’ve got to relieve the pressure on these players to start playing naturally,” he told The Breakdown television show.

“At the moment, in the first few Test matches of the year, we have been playing hindered because of what they think they should be doing. Let’s drop it now. Let’s just go out and win – play what they see.”

Williams knew the All Blacks were on the rack in Perth when flanker Ardie Savea was penalised for an out-of-character shove on prone Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper after the whistle.

It was borne of a lack of possession as the hosts were clinical at the set-piece and rarely kicked the ball away in general play. “We have to give Australia some credit for how they mentally manipulated us,” Williams said.

“Ardie Savea, I haven’t seen him do that all year. I just thought the Aussies got inside us a little bit. Ardie doing that, he’s trying to spark something.”

That spark should have come via raw-boned physicality from the opening whistle but Williams said that was inexplicably missing.

Williams contended that a more-combative Kiwi pack this weekend would reduce the impact of half-back Nic White, who controlled the Wallabies’ attacking rhythm.

“He was questioning our defenders. Is our first step forward? Is our first step sideways? Is he running with the ball? Nic White was looking exactly like a classic George Gregan.”

– AAP

WATCH: Wallaby full-Kurtley Beale is ready for the Bledisloe Cup rematch in Auckland

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'We have to give Australia some credit for how they mentally manipulated us'