NZ wary of 'arch-rivals'
Brisbane - All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has said that the World Champions
will not take the Wallabies lightly in Brisbane this coming weekend,
despite suggestions from some quarters that a victory may be a formality
for a team that is seeking to record their 17th consecutive Test
According to the allblacks.com website
, with The
Investec Rugby Championship won, and a comfortable buffer established in
the IRB world rankings, the All Blacks have been made a complete
mockery of the theory that World Cup winners have 'soft' seasons
following on from global success.
However their current record
run came after a 25-20 loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane, which at the
time was the All Blacks second straight loss and had the Webb Ellis
hosts enter the seventh quadrennial tournament somewhat mortal, although
they managed to win their second World Cup with a 8-7 win over France
at Eden Park.
The five point loss to the Wallabies though stung
the All Blacks, who remarkably suffered just their third loss in
Brisbane over 12 months ago, with New Zealand boasting a remarkable
record in Queensland's capital since 1907, winning 14 and drawing two
over 19 Test matches played at the Exhibition Grounds, the Gabba, and
Lang Park/Suncorp Stadium.
Since that defeat the All Blacks have
established a three-match winning streak over the Wallabies, winning
20-6 in the Rugby World Cup semi-final, while winning 27-19 in Sydney
before putting in a defensive masterclass to shut the Australians out
with a 22-0 loss.
Foster said that to Fairfax NZ that recent history and form counted for little against one of the All Blacks greatest foes.
"Australia are an arch-rival," he said.
there has been a lot said about them this year, they have had a few
injuries, they have still come out with a 3-3 record in the Rugby
Championship which is not to be sneezed at.
"If you go back to
our two games, in both we perhaps missed a lot of opportunities to put
points on them. But I think that was largely due to the tenacity of
their defence and their attitude. While I think we are probably a little
better than those days, their attitude and their desire to play well
against us is going to guarantee that this is a very tough game.'
While the Wallabies may be 'down and out' according to some, Foster felt this made them more dangerous.
last time the All Blacks lost was there and history is full of times
that the Australians have seemingly been down and out and they've shown a
massive amount of character and played really well against us under
that sort of pressure," he said.
"We are fully aware that a
really strong performance from them can certainly change the whole
perception of their season. They'd love to have our scalp, so there's
plenty to play for."