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All Blacks vs Wallabies. SF1
All Blacks vs Wallabies. SF1
(Our recurring nightmare...)
Date: 15 November 2003
Referee: Chris White
Venue: Telstra Stadium, Sydney
HalfTime: Wallabies 13 - 7 All Blacks
FullTime: Wallabies 22 - 10 All Blacks "It feels like 1995 again... It feels bad. Its 1995 all over agin". That's the words of my good mate DH. But they weren't said after the game. Those were his thoughts before kickoff. I just assumed it was DH doing his cunning reverse psychology. Doesn't he mean 1999? I thought, and laughed it off. But I have to admit to a fair few nerves myself... Right from the kickoff it was apparent the Aussies were only going to give up the ball over their dead bodies. Though I don't doubt the All Blacks commitment, I don't think they went into that game with the same intensity. If they did, the Wallabies strangled it out of them with ruthless efficiency. The All Blacks literally didn't touch the ball in the first ten minutes. And then came the key moment in the game. For the first time in the game, the All Blacks had field position and possession. Twenty metres out, Spencer floated a long pass across a flat Wallaby backline, destined for the speedsters out wide. Well it never made it. Quick as a flash, Mortlock plucked it from the air and was gone. There was a collective groan at Cone Stadium. DH sank lower in his chair. That was a Fourteen point try. For the next 30 minutes the Wallabies showed they had the All Blacks well and truly sorted out. They utterly dominated possession, pressured the lineouts, knew exactly where the New Zealand runners were coming from and ferociously defended the advantage line. The only bright spot for Kiwi fans came just before half time. Spencer chose to do what he does best and ran the ball, carving through the defenders and unloading to Captain Thorne who launched himself over the tryline. The second half was Wallabies Wallabies Wallabies... They mixed up their lineout and kept the ABs guessing. Our lineout effort was again painful. Long throws and poor throws at pressure times cost us much needed possession. The Australian forwards aggresively cleaned out the rucks for quick recycle ball. When we had the ball they cunningly slowed it down. The Wallaby backs attacked from deep on the front foot. The Black backs struggled from the outset to contain the big yellow and gold runners. Mortlock in particular was devastating in the centres. Rapidly losing composure as the clock ticked down, the All Black backs tried to attack from static field positions... The Wallaby forwards almost greedily launched into tackle after tackle making the advantage line almost as hard to achieve as the tryline. The Wallaby gameplan worked to perfection. They retained possession and when they were in the red zone they invariably earned themselves a three pointer. It was calculated, ruthless and efficient. Hats off to Eddie Jones and the Wallabies. They out-passioned us, out-cunninged and out-thought the All Blacks. End result of those three, they out-scored us. A comprehensive and impressive display. But let's not spitefully bag the All Blacks. I think we are better than that. I hope we have grown up a bit as a nation. 1999 was shameful. It doesn't bear repeating. In 2003 we have been comprehensively outplayed. Our mistakes were the result of their pressure. All credit to the Wallabies. If there is a witch-hunt this time round I will be extremely disappointed. As Jules said, the World Cup is not ours to lose. We don't have any more right to it than any other team. To assume we have some claim to it is arrogant and disrespectful. So again, congratulations to the Wallabies. BUGGER!!! You utter bastards. (Now I feel a bit better!) 2007 seems such a long way off...

Let us know what you think!

Did I mention "Bugger!!!!"?

I never did like that World Cup anyway... Its too small. It would fit right inside the Bledisloe and there would still be room for the Tri-Nations trophy.

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