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'No doubt the best tighthead in the world now' - Taniela Tupou is a 'must start' for the Wallabies after decimating All Blacks with cameo

By Online Editors
Taniela Tupou of the Wallabies attempts to break through the defence during the 2020 Tri-Nations match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium on November 07, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

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Poor discipline cost both teams during the first-half, with All Black Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Wallabies debutant Lachlan Swinton both shown red cards for separate incidents. But it was the Wallabies who handled the pressure better, with a clinical display off the tee from Reece Hodge guiding the hosts to a two-point lead inside the final 10 minutes.


But a try to replacement Taniela Tupou sealed the deal for the Wallabies, capping off what was a great cameo from the powerful prop.

Tupou was subbed on with just over 25 minutes to play, and the Wallabies almost immediately benefited from his impact.

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The All Blacks forwards the Springboks & England should be worried about.
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Just a few minutes after coming on, the man known as the ‘Tongan Thor’ monstered his way through the All Blacks scrum to earn his side a kickable penalty when they were trailing by four-points at the time. The Brisbane crowd erupted and Fox Sports commentator, Greg Martin, simply said, “the game has changed” with the 24-year-old on the field.

Fans on Twitter seemed to echo Martin’s view, with Tupou continuing to create havoc as the match went on.





Tupou sent his home crowd into a frenzy with five minutes to play when he muscled his was over for a try that put his side up by eight points after it was converted.

12 phases into a relentless Wallabies attack deep inside their attacking 22, Tupou got the ball just a metre out from the line and scored by beating experienced campaigners in TJ Perenara and Anton Lienert-Brown.

The prop had also made his mark on attack leading up to the score, bumping aside Sam Whitelock, Reiko Ioane and Ardie Savea. Tupou finished Bledisloe IV with 20 post-contact metres from his four runs.


Tupou’s cameo also reignites the debate for who should start at tighthead prop for the Wallabies. Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa has come into the first XV for the last two tests, while Tupou started the first two.

While his impact off the bench can’t be questioned, fans want to see more of the Tongan Thor from the opening whistle.

After starting the series with a 16-all draw in Wellington, the win see the Wallabies avoid a winless record against the All Blacks this year.

While it could be a turning point for the Wallabies going forward, coach Dave Rennie isn’t completely satisfied.

“You don’t win the Bledisloe Cup by winning one and drawing one,” Rennie said post-match.

“What it tells us is that if we work hard enough for each other we can get results against anyone.

“But it doesn’t count for much tonight unless we back it up against Argentina in a couple of weeks.”

The Wallabies next take the field at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium on the 21st, where they’ll look to improve on their one win, one loss record in the Tri Nations.

They’ll face Argentina who got the better of non-matchday squad members in two meetings over the past two weeks. More recently, the likes of Fraser McReight and Isi Naisarani were included in a Rugby Australia XV that lost to the Puma 57-24 at Leichhardt Oval.





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