The Puffed Up Kiwis That Couldn't - Dan Coles

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Aug 12, 2019, 12:02

Dane Coles has made the ultimate Test rugby concession, believing the All Blacks were guilty of taking the Wallabies for granted ahead of the stunning Bledisloe Cup upset in Perth.

Experienced hooker Coles said a brutal team honesty session in the wake of the 47-26 loss exposed a lack of intensity and physicality compared to Australia, who haven’t been so dominant in a trans-Tasman Test for years.

A 17-year Bledisloe Cup reign and New Zealand’s ownership of Super Rugby titles for the past five seasons had seemingly seeped into the players’ psyche.

Coles said they had vowed there would be no repeat in the return match at Eden Park, where thoughts of the World Cup would disappear completely as they set about retaining Lord Bledisloe’s silverware.

“It could have been that we took it a bit for granted, if we’re being honest. We spoke about that,” Coles told journalists on Monday.

“As an All Black, that’s pretty tough to take but we’re lucky enough we get another opportunity to prove to everyone in New Zealand how much this means to us.

“The best way to describe (the review) was just raw and honest. A lot of it was about our attitude, which was the hurtful thing.

“They brought a real hunger and they’re pretty desperate to get the Bledisloe Cup. We need to embrace and find what it means to be an All Black.”

New Zealand are in limbo about the availability this week of red-carded lock Scott Barrett.

A Foul Play Review Committee hearing was scheduled for Sunday night but had adjourned as further evidence was sought related to the incident when Barrett’s shoulder made contact with the head of Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper.

One player definitely ruled out this week is outside centre Jack Goodhue, with a hamstring strain.

Sonny Bill Williams is poised to return to the midfield after missing the trip to Perth to squeeze in two provincial matches, having barely played in 2019.

Williams, fighting for World Cup selection, looks set to start alongside Anton Lienert-Brown, who would shift out one spot to the No 13 jersey.

It's becoming increasingly common for players past and present, coaches and sports writers to remark on the diminishing humility of the All Black brand. That this generation lacks the mature heads to replace the legends of yesteryear. I think there is some truth to that belief

Aug 12, 2019, 12:15

Please note Huffer that Beeno warned that this was a better pack than Oz had fielded in years.

Had they taken note it may have helped them. The rotund Hanson has some problems to sort.


Aug 12, 2019, 12:18

I don't buy into this Wallaby pack being that much better. The big difference was the directness to their attack. They ran straight and hard. For nearly fifteen years, the wallabies have been dancing behind the gainline. Too lateral. No amount of complexity has been able to mask that. It got even worse with Beale, who likes to drift out as the 9 passes the ball! That big midfield has changed the way they play, that and now the best lineout in SH rugby. They also kick better than us. However, our physicality, especially with Andre, blunted the Kerevi who tore New Zealand apart. 

Aug 12, 2019, 15:12

Ahem, I think the red card had an impact guys. For sure they didn’t play as well as they could & need to but the red was a big deal.

Aug 12, 2019, 15:12

Ahem, I think the red card had an impact guys. For sure they didn’t play as well as they could & needed to but the red was a big deal.

Aug 12, 2019, 15:21


A red card has a very bad effect on any team and I think the card had a major impact on the outcome.  However, it must be borne in mind  Barrett at loc is as bad as Barrett on the wing.  Not really test level players. 

However, I think there are indeed problems in he squad - but cannot see how Hansen can solve the under-performance of players like Read and Whitelock within a  month.  

Aug 12, 2019, 17:18

We thank you all for your concern but no worries, the ABs are building towards the RWC & yes there are a few hiccups but all will be well.

Aug 12, 2019, 18:19

Anybody who writes off the AB as one of the top two RWC contenders knows very little about rugby and even less about the All Black DNA. As much as it hurts and as much as I hope I am wrong we are currently sitting somewhere around 4 or 5. Rassie is moving in the right direction but has run out of time to find a midfield that can find their way out of a paper bag. Steyn has lost some pace but at least he can run and think at the same time...Not a long term solution.... & he can cover a few positions.

Aug 12, 2019, 18:53

New Zealand's saving grace is immense strike power. This is still a team that can pile on quick burst of points and grow wildly out of control. However, it's possible to control the way they play. This has not been the case for many years, not since 2008 and 2009. These are very different kinds of players. 

The midfield in terms of personnel is solvable. Pollard-Andre-Am is our most potent combination. The midfield in terms of implementation is beyond the grasp of Rassie. His greatest use of 12 is to select Damian and give him a glut of possession to run himself into a stupor. That's it. The next is to allow Kriel to run himself into a hole. This is the attacking prowess of Damian and Kriel. Andre and Am have very rarely been afforded the same freedom. When they are selected the gameplan is more conservative, yet these two still out produce the former failed duo. 

We do not have the coach to implement a modern attacking game. Rewatch that Bok test, observe the Bok setup at each phase, how they work the field from each phase. Clunky, too deep, too slow. These players are setup to fail. 

Aug 12, 2019, 19:31

It is odd that with such a blunt midfield tool he seems unwilling to try any new combinations. Damian has surely had enough time to deliver more than 1 in 5 good games.

Aug 13, 2019, 00:10

No excuses JW. 

Aug 13, 2019, 12:57

BokBF, why cycle through more combinations when one has every intention of running them through the same stilted patterns and plays? We have the players, we don't have the coaching. Andre is arguably our best distributing back, and Am is very skilled himself. What do we do with them? Nothing. 

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