Kafer: Aussie decline has become mental
Cape Town - Former Wallaby Rod Kafer believes that the Australian teams' disappointing performances in Super Rugby are giving them an inferiority complex towards New Zealand sides.
Australia's five Super Rugby teams have failed to win a game against their New Zealand counterparts in 11 matches over six weeks, whilst last year they only achieved three victories. The same gulf in quality is reflected in international rugby where the Wallabies have overcome the All Blacks only once in 16 matches, going back to 2011.
These worrying statistics have got Australian pundits calling for the axing of one local team in an effort to raise the competitiveness of the other sides in the conference. And speculation has been rife that it could be either one of the Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels or Western Force who will make way.
"All the players hear is how far ahead the Kiwi teams are and eventually, as resistant as you try to be as a player, those things over time seep in, through the smallest cracks in a player's psyche," Kafer told Sky Sports on Tuesday.
"You get the sense that our decline in performance, particularly against New Zealand sides, has unfortunately been consistent over the past three years.
"It's almost in the psyche now, that deferment to New Zealand and it becomes self-perpetuating.
"Our performances against New Zealand teams have declined over a period of time, I'd say the past three years.
"Of course there's going to be uncertainty around the competition but if anything that gives the players opportunities to be inspired and to play as if their lives depended on it."