Make no mistake, this Wallabies side lack cohesion, but the team showed a healthy crowd at Adelaide Oval, and thousands at home, only with the right resolve and game plan , they can knock out big teams. It was an emphatic win that looked closer on paper due to two late tries.
Although Australia have had psychological issues when it comes to beating the All Blacks, there is a reason why this year might be different.
Their preparation for the Bledisloe Cup is much more favorable than in previous years.
The Wallabies always come out of a Super Rugby season looking goofy. No matter how many training sessions they have, they still lack practice on the pitch where it matters most.
Traditionally, the Wallabies have to face the All Blacks first. Sydney Bledisloe’s games have been ugly bloodbaths.
But this year Australia get four Tests against Argentina and South Africa, plus a high-octane England series, to hone their game.
The San Juan clash was supposed to happen at some point in Rugby League – it still does – but as far as preparations ahead of two huge games against New Zealand, playing the All Blacks later in the season, go. year is beneficial.
As far as confidence-boosting wins go, Saturday’s eight-point win is chicken soup for the Wallabies soul.
It’s validation that a stubborn defensive display and clever game management will win Test rugby matches, even when Michael Hooper, Samu Kerevi and Quade Cooper are not on deck.
That Australia can spend almost a month at home before a clash against New Zealand on September 15 in Melbourne is gold. Golden Wallaby.
Next Saturday’s clash in Sydney against South Africa will be the real test, as No10 Noah Lolesio was quick to point out at full time.
“The challenge for us now is to be consistent,” said Lolesio, whose Test share price rose after a cheeky pass to set up former Junior Wallabies teammate Fraser McReight for a second down.
If there is one player the Wallabies have to wrap in cotton for the next 18 days, it is Marika Koroibete.
But how do you tell a guy who only operates in fifth gear to turn it down a bit? Impossible.
He’s an all-or-nothing player whose work ethic is on par with Hooper. He empties the tank game after game.
Without the Wallabies captain in the ranks, Koroibete is the energizing bunny his teammates feed on. The slaps on the back Koroibete received when he burst into Makazole Mapimpi over the touchline, with his one-man squad, said it all.
Sonny Bill Williams referred to Koroibete as the “Flying Fijian Bullet”, and you’d expect that nickname to stick.
All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens was asked on Stan Sport coverage if Koroibete was his player of the match as he walked away at the end of the second half.
“Man of the match? He’s my man of the century,” Mehrtens said. “He would probably play another 40 years if he wanted to.”
Koroibete won’t need it if he can help the Wallabies win back Bledisloe.
However, whether or not the All Blacks continue to implode, the best form guide to Bledisloe’s glory will be there for all to see next week at a shiny new stadium in Sydney.
What this team of Wallabies will produce is anyone’s guess.