Let’s tick off the achievements.
- Super 15 Champions, tick
- Mandella Plate, tick
- Bledisloe Cup, nope but we will get that next year
- Tri-Nations Crown, hell yeah!
What a game. Damn but why don’t the Wallabies always play the ABs in Brisbane. Lang Park is turning into Australia’s rugby fortress, hopefully this win will help the ARU decide to rescind the decision to move the Bledisloe matches to Sydney for the next 10 years. Horwill lifted the Super 15 trophy there 7 weeks ago as the QLD captain and last night he lifted the Tri-Nations trophy as the Wallaby captain after leading his side to a memorable victory against the ABs.
The new management structure is off to one hell of a flyer with a win that will go down in folk law as the turning point for Dingo’s Wallabies.
The rain cleared before kick-off leaving behind humidity and a heavy track to which the wallabies added the precise game plan and right attitude for the conditions. The attitude was there for all to see during the haka. Gone was the respectful stance to one where they confronted the haka and that set the tone for the match.
The wallabies simply dominated that first half by unleashing their inner mongrel. Unlike previous games it was the wallabies who dominated the game; it was the wallabies unleashing ball jarring tackles, it was the wallabies tearing into the breakdown and clearing out the AB; it was the wallabies dictating the terms of the match and it was the wallabies keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
That first half was an exceptionally display of mongrel attitudes by all wallaby players. Good hard rugby with a hint of niggle to keep the ABs mind off their game. As Teach said the Wallabies played like ABs in the first half and let’s face it the ABs didn’t like it. The 20 to 3 point lead heading at half time was a fair reflection of the game but the wallabies did leave a couple of try scoring opportunities begging.
Well the resumption after the break was something special by the ABs that opening 20-25 minutes of total domination and lead to the score drawing at 20 all with some brilliant play. But the core of the wallabies know they are champions and can create their own luck. The Genia break that allowed Beale to score a try immediately after the ABs were back on level footing broke them.
This is the second time McCaw has had to watch Horwill lift a trophy and I’m sure he doesn’t like it. What must now be gnawing away in McCaw’s guts and the ABs supporters minds keeping them awake in the middle of the night is could it happen again in 7 weeks time. That right it’s currently three out of four, now for four out of five. I can see Bill coming home.