News24

Oz brace for 'best' All Blacks

2012-10-15 07:55

Brisbane - Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper is well aware of the daunting task ahead this weekend as the Wallabies prepare to take on a record-chasing New Zealand side the utility back regards as the best he has ever faced.

"These guys are the best in the world, you can't argue with that, and I'd argue that these guys are the best All Blacks side I've ever come across," Ashley-Cooper told Australian media on Monday. "They are absolutely humming at the moment."

The All Blacks face the Wallabies in a Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane on Saturday and although New Zealand have already secured the trophy, they are within sight of equalling the record for successive wins in international rugby.

New Zealand, who retained the Bledisloe Cup for a 10th successive season in August, have won 16 tests since they were beaten by the Wallabies at Lang Park in Brisbane less than two weeks before last year's World Cup.

If they win in Brisbane, they could match Lithuania's world record of 18 successive victories against Scotland on November 10 with the match against Italy on November 17 looming as a possible record breaker.

Ashley-Cooper, who has 72 Test caps and has played the All Blacks 19 times since his international debut in 2005, said the injury-ravaged Wallabies were not concerned about the New Zealand's run.

Instead, they were focusing more on their rally to beat Argentina 25-19 in Rosario nine days ago than the All Blacks's form.

"We can't really let that be a distraction to us; we have to look back at what we did well on the last week of the tour and use that. Bring that belief out and use it," Ashley-Cooper added.

"There's nothing to lose and we can go out and have a good crack."

Australia have struggled this year with a run of serious injuries to key players forcing coach Robbie Deans to name 11 new caps this season, while he had to ask veteran lock Nathan Sharpe to postpone his retirement.

Ashley-Cooper missed the match in Argentina after he was knocked unconscious in a tackle the previous week against the Springboks.

Deans used the inexperienced Ben Tapuai in the centres with inside back Mike Harris forced to play fullback and Nick Cummins made his debut on the wing, and Ashley-Cooper said their performances had boosted the team's depth.

"It's a real positive for us, knowing that guys who haven't played can step into that environment and play well and get a result when our backs are to the wall," Ashley-Cooper said.

"That's a great foundation for the team."

Reuters

Comments
  • nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-15 08:07

    Hmmm. Oz are the only side I am concerned about on any given day. They are not to be underestimated. We have the advantage of them not having all their top players on the field but still they remain an opponent of great ability home & away. Adam Ashley-cooper is one of the best rugby players I have had the pleasure of watching. His simultaneous double tackle on J devilliers and another bok in perth was an unbelievable display of his ability under pressure and the best try saving tackle I've ever seen.

      kevin.ohanlon.73 - 2012-10-15 08:22

      I agree, if any side can beat us at the moment it is the aussies..more skill to offer than the Boks!!

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-10-15 08:54

      Hey NZbro, I've got the coolest pics from SoccerCity, gonna friend request you so you can have a look. That cool with you?

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-15 09:04

      Hey guys, the way NZ are playing right now, I cant see OZ beating them!!!

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-10-15 09:13

      Jaco, you know how many times that's been said lol :) I think we should be alright though... very curious as to see what team we put on the park.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-15 09:15

      hey Jimmy. sweet as bro. go for it.

      Brad - 2012-10-15 09:44

      "Hmmm. Oz are the only side I am concerned about on any given day." What a stupid, unsubstantiated statement. The records of the three teams to have beaten the ABs in the last five years are as follows: SA - 5/13 (38%) - two wins IN NZ France - 1/5 (20%) - one win in NZ Aus - 3/17 (18%) NO wins in NZ Don't talk like a one-eyed Aussie, bru. We know how much you hate being mistaken for Aussies, and you're not helping your cause.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-15 10:31

      Nah NZB, don’t think you should worry, NZ is quite the complete outfit now!!

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-10-15 16:09

      The thing about Australia is that regardless of form , they always believe they can beat NZ, Most if not all other sides including the Boks have lost the game mentally before they get on the field.

  • jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-15 09:25

    Wow its like romantic novel we've got going here. I'm going to put a poster of Adam Ashley Cooper in my son's bedroom. On the poster I will have a voice bubble that says: "Work hard mate, so you too can earn the bickies one day and not be a bogan"

  • gsaker1 - 2012-10-15 10:15

    What pile of crap nzbro and I'm an All Black supporter. NZ toughest opposition historically has always been the Boks - yeah sure there was a period there when NZ was rebuilding after bulk retirements and to be fair Australia had the only side I actually rate in the mid eighties but since then - even the side that won the world cup in 1999 - was not that crash. I rate the Boks ahead of the Wallabies any day and recently their record against the AB's is joke. they r no threat on Saturday whatsoever - I mean it - not being arrogant - I just think they will be totally outclassed...I predict the AB's will put 35-40 points on Australia and I think their no2 world ranking is flattering - the Boks are a better side than Australia at the moment. The reason is - they have improved over the competition - the Wallabies have got lucky and while they came back well against Argentina they were hardly playing the Boks or the AB's and the 22 drubbing by the AB's at Eden Park with Genia, Cooper,Pocock and Co in toe, says it has nothing to do with injuries and everything to do with being up against a side that is another class to the Wallabies

      Brad - 2012-10-15 10:28

      Respect.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-15 10:46

      gsaker1 I did say" We have the advantage of them not having all their top players on the field" your confidence though is comforting and my heart wants to say you're 100% correct but my head prefers to err on the side of caution. It was nice thrashing oz twice in a row but I take nothing for granted so....I err on the side of caution. :) I still rate Oz above boks.

      jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-15 10:53

      i think adam ashley cooper can beat any team on his own. he is like the fonz!

      emmett.gracie - 2012-10-15 16:15

      I rate the Bokke as a consistently better adversary to be sure, but I still see the Wallabies as the team that often "does a France" and shocks you with a freak result. You can usually see whether there is a really strong Bok side or a good but-not-up-there-with-your-best Bok side coming - both sets of fans kind of know it. The Wallabies, not so much, which makes them quite a worrying team when you know you should beat them...

  • dono - 2012-10-15 11:04

    Nzboy is a knob ignore his childish comments he supports a team purely on the colour of their kit. He has nothing substantial to say and his petty chirps about the boks are based on racial issues alone. Well done son apartheid is way in the past so take the chip off your shoulder if you can...

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