wnol.info March 23 2018

Beale asks Wallabies fans to stick with team

March 23 2018, 01:35 | Irvin Gilbert

MAARTEN HOLL FAIRFAX NZ NZR chief executive Steve Tew

NZR chief executive Steve Tew

Dunedin looks mission impossible for the Wallabies, but Kurtley Beale insists Saturday's storming finish gave them a key boost against the All Blacks.

The final scoreline flattered the Wallabies, who were outclassed at the Olympic stadium by the All Blacks, with the World Cup winners taking their foot off the pedal after they led 54-6 early in the second half courtesy of eight tries. That was already their highest score against the Wallabies, eclipsing 51 in 2014 in Auckland. From the ruck the All Blacks moved the ball quickly with fast hands from lock Brodie Retallick, who was dynamic throughout, skipper and No.8 Kieran Read and Ioane putting Squire into space down the left flank where he out-paced the cover to score in the ninth minute.

"The Wallabies missed a staggering 40 percent (37 from 94) of all tackles in the first half and there will be enormous pressure on defence coach Nathan Grey, given what the Waratahs dished up this year too", he wrote.

"It was pretty plain to see that our defence wasn't good enough, at all", said Cheika.

"I think it's maybe just that little bit of doubt creeps in".

"We had the right preparation no doubt and obviously not playing a lot of footy that leaves you out a little bit missing the [Super Rugby] games".

A poor Super Rugby season for Australia's teams had put extra pressure on Michael Cheika's men, and they could not handle it as they crumbled in the end.

The landslide loss could not have come at a worse time for the beleaguered sport of rugby union in Australia.

The Maori All Black went over again minutes later to score a double, before Ryan Crotty notched New Zealand's fourth try with less than half an hour played, as Australia were guilty of multiple handling errors.

New Zealand 54 (Rieko Ioane 2, Ryan Crotty 2, Liam Squire, Sonny Bill Williams, Damian McKenzie, Ben Smith tries; Beauden Barrett 7 cons) defeated Australia 34 (Curtis Rona, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau tries; Bernard Foley 4 cons; 2 pens).

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said: "We certainly understand that our game and our players are under public scrutiny and these latest stories are concerning".

But the 54,846 fans that showed up - down from 65,328 past year - witnessed another inept overall performance, which will place further strain on an already fed up rugby community. We were OK in patches of the second half but we conceded 34 points which means most days of the week you're going to be losing test matches. "It's not often you come here and put 50 points on the Wallabies".

"At a time when we are grappling with our cultural reputation, the respect and responsibility review, which is now under way, is even more important", Tew said.

"It comes down to a deep belief between players", he said.

But Cheika, while critical of his team's tackling - 37 missed tackles in the first half alone - backed his newly-appointed defensive coach Nathan Grey and said the Wallabies' problems stemmed from indecision.

"This is a roadblock in front of us, and it's going to knock us down but it's not going to stop us".

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