x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Wallabies expect an All Blacks backlash

The Australia coach Robbie Deans is under no illusions about his side's trip to Auckland for their next Tri Nations match.

The Australian centre Peter Hynes scores a try against the New Zealand All Blacks during their Bledisloe Cup rugby test in Sydney, Australia.
The Australian centre Peter Hynes scores a try against the New Zealand All Blacks during their Bledisloe Cup rugby test in Sydney, Australia.

SYDNEY // The Australia coach Robbie Deans is under no illusions about his side's trip to Auckland for their next Tri Nations match despite the fact they comprehensively outplayed New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday. Deprived of the ball for much of the match and forced to make twice as many tackles, the Wallabies seized their limited opportunities to score four tries and beat the All Blacks 34-19, preserving Deans' unbeaten run.

Deans, who missed out on the All Blacks head coaching position to Graham Henry, is wary of facing a wounded New Zealand team at Eden Park. "Just the context of being in Auckland, the All Blacks won't want to go down again," Deans said after New Zealand suffered their second successive loss in this year's competition. "It's going to be a another notch up. They'll be hurting and you'll see the response next week."

Richie McCaw's possible return from an ankle injury should help the New Zealanders at the breakdown where they were often driven off the ball due to a lack of numbers or had it pilfered by Australia captain George Smith. Wallabies flyhalf Matt Giteau and inside centre Berrick Barnes were also particularly prominent in tackling like extra loose forwards and helped slow the All Blacks' possession. Henry said Deans's influence on the team's patterns was already showing. "The defence is better, probably more structured," Henry said. "Field position is a key and they play a good field position game. We've got work to do."

* Reuters