Pressure on All Blacks

2011-10-13 09:16

Auckland - The Wallabies will be out to crank up the pressure on the All Blacks and ensure yet more Rugby World Cup depression for the whole of New Zealand, Australia assistant coach David Nucifora said on Thursday.

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Rugby-obsessed New Zealanders are getting edgy as the All Blacks' World Cup semi-final clash with world number two and fierce regional rivals Australia draws closer at Eden Park on Sunday.

Nucifora, who coached the Auckland Blues at the time of the All Blacks' quarter-final defeat by France at the 2007 World Cup, said national expectations were for New Zealand to win the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time in 24 years were intolerably high.

"I was here the last time in 2007 and it was pretty glum," Nucifora said.

"It means a heck of a lot to New Zealanders, the game of rugby, so I think that just puts a lot of pressure on their team."

Incumbent Graham Henry was re-appointed All Blacks coach despite New Zealand's worst-ever World Cup result since the tournament began in 1987 and the fact no other Kiwi has held the job the year after a losing World Cup campaign.

"The (New Zealand) players know and the players understand the expectation that sits on their shoulders to win a World Cup," Nucifora said.

"You only have to walk the streets, it's everywhere around you at the moment.

"The pressure is mounting, the expectation is there, it's been a long time and people want to win it, it means a heck of a lot to them. It's going to be interesting how they deal with that."

Nucifora said the Wallabies, their belief bolstered by a fighting 11-9 win over defending champions South Africa in last weekend's quarter-finals, will do all they can to exert maximum pressure on the All Blacks.

"It's a massive game and how players deal with pressure during the game will dictate what the outcome will be.

"So if there is scoreboard pressure on the New Zealanders, then that will make it interesting to see how they hold it together."

Nucifora said the Wallabies were working on their attack and lineout to take the extra steps to get past the All Blacks to the final.

"Obviously it was a great defensive effort against the Springboks and the work around the contact areas was very good.

"But there were areas in our game - our attack and our lineout - a couple of things that needed to improve.

"If we take our defensive effort from the weekend and our first 40 minutes against the Kiwis (in the 2011 Tri Nations decider in Brisbane) and we'll be getting closer to putting together a pretty good performance."

Nucifora said fullback Kurtley Beale's injured hamstring was improving, but his availability for Sunday's match remained in doubt.

"We don't have a totally clear idea just yet as to whether he is going to make it," he said.

"We'll look at him again tomorrow (Friday) when we train. He wouldn't necessarily need to train fully on Friday to play on Sunday but we'll be having a closer look at how far he has progressed."

Prop Sekope Kepu also hasn't trained this week with an ankle injury but he has been given good reports by medical staff and is expected to be named in the front row.

Nucifora also said inside centre Pat McCabe (shoulder) "looks good", in an indication he will retain his position at number 12 and oppose in-form All Black Ma'a Nonu.

* Click HERE for the latest RWC odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • True Bok Fan - 2011-10-13 09:48

    The Aussies will try and cheat their way into the final as they did in the quarter-final. True to Aussie form ! Unfortunately Bryce is not refereeing this game. Why can't they just stick to the rules like everyone else or at least try to do so.

      Alan - 2011-10-13 10:07

      You dont sound like a true Bok fan! The Aussies are not at fault for winning. The Boks lost due to lack of luck, and poor reffing, and the loss of Heinrich so early. Pocock played a blinder, and Heinrich would have as well.If you want to accuse anyone of cheating - look no further than Richie McCheat! The Boks did themselves proud. I personally want the Aussies or Wales to win, and I think that the Aussies are the best team to win if they play their A game. Good luck Aussies, from Alan the Bok Fan

      theprodigy - 2011-10-13 10:39

      @ Alan, at least someone is talking sense, 1000% agree...Go Wales, anybody but the Brats.

      Renny Meere - 2011-10-13 10:52

      All I'm going to say is, Go Wales!!!!!!!!!

      Alan - 2011-10-13 11:06

      Thaks Prodigy.

  • Shawn - 2011-10-13 09:58

    I just know some BOK twat is going to post something negative or referee related so before you can, let me just remind you no matter what you say, THE BOKS ARE STILL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKA I`m loving it it!!!!

      brok3news - 2011-10-13 10:58

      Eat a d*ck expat.

      kiwi - 2011-10-13 11:02

      @ shawn agree with you. they are gone-burger,

      Gina - 2011-10-13 11:06

      Shawn its nice that your support the All Blacks, but we Bok supporters see a steal when it happens, we have family like you in NZ who think like you where the all blacks are concerned. THe NZ refs had to oust the Boks so that the way could be clear for your team to make their approch to victory, but please do not for get the French and the Welsh they have a great chance of upsetting this whole RWC for you. We are only out of this world cup because of cheating, which is well know from NZ refs.

      Shistirrer - 2011-10-13 11:34

      @brok3news: I think he's doing it already. Notice the gargling, choking sounds in his second paragraph, followed by "I'm loving it it" (sic).

  • aus_beats_sa - 2011-10-13 10:13

    Sorry but only supporters of teams who are still in the world cup should comment here.. Tee hee

      Alan - 2011-10-13 10:15

      Not if you want fair play. If you want a credible tournament, the IRB has to make changes to lessen the controversies.

      kiwi - 2011-10-13 11:20

      @ alan........i could think of one good change the IRB could do.......and that is ban the yappis from the tournament ,that would stop any future whining and snibiling lol

  • Aromat - 2011-10-13 10:21

    o jinnne I can feel the choke setting in...going to be a shambles for the All Blacks..ala Greame Smith's Proteas. If the choke doesnt come now it will come in the final against the Les Blues

      macrini - 2011-10-13 11:06

      Ummm aren't the Boks the reigning champions, and aren't they back in South Africa? That sounds like a choke to me.

  • burtfred - 2011-10-13 10:22

    Bryce Lawrence's blatent bias and ineptitude has reduced the tournament to a scripted farce. Whoever wins the cup will always be tainted by the perception of a hollow vistory. I won't bother to watch the rest of the games - I'd rather go fishing.

      ozzymate - 2011-10-13 10:39

      buttfred my mate, how can you call the tournament a scripted farce? The 4 best teams in the world are still competing mate. We played hard to boot out the weaker teams like yourselves and I feel deeply offended that you downplay our victories this way.LOL.You will watch us continue our victorious journey to the end. I insist.nay I demand! You owe it to yourself to witness the best at play. You can go for therapy after aye?

      Totman - 2011-10-13 11:13

      @ozzymate. Who you calling a meit (mate) ek se. Watch it!!! Our president will send Bakkies to visit you, ek se. lol! Weaker times like ourselves? Still practicing the potato time's mentality I see.

      Totman - 2011-10-13 11:15

      Not times, but teams. sorry

  • PlumberCRACK - 2011-10-13 10:22

    They have belief cause of the victory over the Springboks? Wake up you blooming bafoon! You did not win that game. The ref stole it from the boks...You will lose as justice will be served.

  • Clark Kent - 2011-10-13 10:27

    David Really your take on the game is astounding.The All Blacks in the meantime wont put any pressure at all on Quade Cooper will they. They will just let the wannabies put pressure on them. I dont think so.You will see Kaino Thorne reid run all day at the number 10 channel. They will put extreme pressure on cooper ,and he will crack

      Alan - 2011-10-13 10:37

      I think he is saying that there is more pressure on the AB's. Cooper brings his A game to the AB's, and they have to be more than a little worried. Personally, I think that the ABs are a lot more scared of Aus, than Aus are of them. With the injuries, I think Aus have a definate edge. Then there is the issue of home advantage - to my mind, the Kiwi's are up against virtually every other visitor in NZ, so that has to be a negative for them. The biggest factor to my mind though is that the Aussies have the character to hammer away, never giving up. The AB's often show less character when they are behind, and especially in the bigger games. There has to be far more pressure on the Ab's. Pocock has a better all round game than Mc Caw. Both great teams (though I hate the AB's), but my heart and guts are firmly on Aus.

      Shakes - 2011-10-13 10:51

      Lol, like he cracked last Sunday. Cooper really was pathetic on Sunday and I think the AB's are gonna take this one comfortably.

  • Roadster Babe - 2011-10-13 10:32

    Bok supporters are a real joke - get used to losing suckers because from now on Julius Malema will be picking your team!

      Alan - 2011-10-13 10:38

      Are you bunking school again?

  • theprodigy - 2011-10-13 10:35

    Go Wales, I hope the Aus Vs the Brats game is a stalemate, seems Mc Cheats bunion is going to really hamper his cheating ways, hahaha much pressure on the Brats, I hope they choke! Wales, Wales, Wales !!!!!!!!!!

  • AndV - 2011-10-13 10:44

    The game will be determined by the ref, as has become the norm. No more fairplay in rugby. The refs are manipulating the outcome of games and I am convinced money has something to do with it.

  • Gina - 2011-10-13 10:49

    Dont blame the Aussies, they just took advantage of the Referee making sure that SA did not go any further, so that the All black can scoop their second world cup victory. Which unfortunately I feel would be considred stolen from the rightful owners of RWC 2011 the Springboks.

      Roadster Babe - 2011-10-13 10:53

      Lol - you are a joke - your clowns can only score tries against Namibia , Fiji etc and you sill feel they deserve to win.

      Alan - 2011-10-13 10:59

      @Roadster .... BAck to school or you are going to get demerits and no tuck money for the week....

  • Tim Attwell - 2011-10-13 10:57

    It will be very interesting to see David Pocock up against Richie McCaw. They are the two best cheaters around the breakdown in the business. I takes a thief to catch a thief. Depending on the Ref, there are a number of possibilities: 1. They will both spend most of the match on the bench. 2. The match will be an endless succession of tit for tat penalties. 3. Pocock and McCaw will come to blows. 4. Pocock and/or McCaw will get raked severely and spend time in the blood bin. 5. Both Pocock and McCaw will decide to play by the rules and we'll all enjoy a cracker of a game of Rugby.

      Roadster Babe - 2011-10-13 11:01

      Tim you are another clown - much like your President and the rest of his government

      Alan - 2011-10-13 11:11

      Seriously Roadster - go and play somewhere else. If you really were an Aussie, I would have to reverse my support of them in case somebody associated my IQ with yours.

      Roadster Babe - 2011-10-13 11:13

      @ Alan - nope just a South African with some brains. Pretty sure my IQ and education are superior to yours

      Alan - 2011-10-13 11:16

      Sure thing Road Hog - I stand back humbly corrected. LOL @ you :)

      Airborne68 - 2011-10-13 11:18

      Fraudster Babe, shouldn't you be commenting on food24 or something?

      Roadster Babe - 2011-10-13 11:29

      @Airborne - why fraudster and why Food24? Please try and be coherent when posting comments

  • Freddie - 2011-10-13 11:13

    Three of the four semi-finalists finished second in their groups... strange.

  • Shistirrer - 2011-10-13 11:28

    With Craig Joubert reffing this match, I'd put my money on the Aussies. The All Blacks built their current success around four things: (1) Dan Carter - he's out, the AB's are playing with their no 3 flyhalf. (2) McCaw's illegal breakdown play (3) SBW's little pop passes of which 95% are forward, and (4) the whole team standing offside at the breakdown, about a meter in front of the last feet. (1) Not a factor any more (2) - (4) Joubert is an excellent, non-biased, honest ref. He will not allow these infringements to go unpunished and so the illegal advantage that the AB strategy is based on, will be neutralized. GO AUS!!! And for the final, GO FRANCE/WALES/WHOEVER!!!

      Roadster Babe - 2011-10-13 11:32

      another delusional fool

      Shistirrer - 2011-10-13 11:42

      Fraudster Babe, do you actually know anything about rugby? The game played by 15 men on one side and 16 on the other, with an oval ball? I have yet to see a single one of your comments that proves the existence of intelligence.

      macrini - 2011-10-13 11:43

      To be fair: Cruden is the no.2 first-five, All Black backline ripped teams apart way before Sonny Bill came along, and do you not remember who fumbled you fools out of the cup? Pocock; if anyone's gonna feel Joubert's wrath, it's him. Go watch some netball, leave the World Cup for countries with teams still involved

      Alan - 2011-10-13 11:44

      @Shist - give her a break - the dummy has fallen out again. :)

      BM - 2011-10-13 12:03

      1) You wish you had a SBW in your team. 2) McCaw is a true leader, playing with an injured foot you have to take your hat off for the man. He is also the first All Black to get 100 caps so lets show some respect.

  • Vitorc - 2011-10-13 12:11

    I am looking forward to the game. Whatever the outcome will give me cause to smile. If the Kiwis go then its Lawrence's home country out. If the Aussies go its the wheel turning.

  • Kevin - 2011-10-13 12:39

    AB have used the Bryce card. Now they will just choke.

      Mark - 2011-10-13 23:34

      lol you are so funny! choke just like the Bokke, haha!

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