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24 Aug 2009 13:23
The Wallabies were once again their own worst enemies and played “brain dead” in their excruciating 19-18 Tri-Nations’ loss to the All Blacks, the Australian press said on Monday.
Pundits said that for the fourth Test in succession the Wallabies had led the All Blacks at halftime only to go down in the second half.
The All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup and kept within reach of leaders South Africa in the Tri-Nations series, after coming back from 12-3 down at halftime to score the only try of a gripping international at Sydney’s Olympic stadium on Saturday.
The press once again took the under-achieving Wallabies to task under the coaching of New Zealander Robbie Deans.
“Where were the leaders? Where were those supposed senior players who could take advantage of the All Blacks only playing to about 60 percent of their capabilities?” The Sydney Morning Herald’s Greg Growden asked.
“Yet again, the Wallabies were their own worst enemies by being brain dead when clear thinking was imperative.”
The Herald said cool heads and leadership were required in the final minutes, but “instead white-line fever took over.”
“It was clear no one had even thought of the drop-goal option, even though they were sitting pretty 20 metres out, straight in front of the All Blacks goalposts.”
The Australian newspaper said the Wallabies were achieving something no one would have thought possible a year ago.
“They are making Robbie Deans look bad—allowing one Kiwi journalist on Saturday night to coyly remind him that he now is one from six in Tests against All Blacks coach Graham Henry,” the paper’s Wayne Smith said.
“Had his players displayed no more than average composure, Deans could instead be five from six against his arch-rival and the world be a much better place, spared for starters the sight of Henry’s infuriatingly smug grin.”
The Daily Telegraph said even Deans appeared as frustrated with the Wallabies as were the Australian supporters.
“Deans often talks about effecting lasting change for the Wallabies but it seems even he has joined the frustrated fans who can’t see if it is a week away, a month away or a year away,” the paper’s Iain Payten said.
“He said: ‘It is bit like creeping moss, they are getting closer but they’re not there.’”
The Wallabies play the Springboks in their next Tri-Nations Test in Perth on Saturday.—AFP
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