Michael Cheika restrained after Wallabies' thumping victory over All Blacks

Florence Fletcher
August 12, 2019

The Wallabies put 47 points on the All Blacks.

Australia, already leading from Christian Lealiifano's boot, capitalised on the man advantage and ran in six tries, meaning an Argentina win in Salta could hand Cheika's side the title. So marvellously that, for once, instead of trying to identify the weekly Wallaby whipping boy, it took some time to fully praise all the heroes of the hour. Our discipline was poor early in the first half.

Israel Folau? For 80 enervating minutes the troublesome fullback was no longer either the victim of religious persecution or a curse on the game - depending on which Twitter stream you followed.

Of course there could be no Australian victory over the Kiwis without an outbreak of righteous indignation from our siblings across the ditch.

"I didn't see it as one guy who really stood out".

French referee Jerome Garces adjudged that Barrett had committed a unsafe tackle when he made contact with the head of Australia captain Michael Hooper with a no-arm tackle at a ruck just before half time in Perth. Garces' decision had much greater worldwide ramifications for Kiwis - it helped sully the reputation of their beloved All Blacks.

Rattue, however, believed coach Steve Hansen was still searching for magic bullets, dreaming of ruling again, and the incident that highlighted the All Blacks predicament was not Barrett's red card but came before that when Ardie Savea forced Michael Hooper's head into the ground.

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He said the Wallabies must improve, just as the home side would.

But the All Blacks responded as they always seem to do with 41-13 scoreline to set themselves on course for Rugby World Cup glory.

At last, bold team selections produced the skills needed to execute a smart, winning game plan as the Wallabies refused to kick away ball to their counter-attacking nemesis and dominated both possession and the physical battle.

They must crack their first win in Auckland since 1986 to secure the prized trans-Tasman trophy for the first time in 17 years.

"All Blacks thrashed", "Bledisloe Bashing", "Wallabies shock All Blacks", "Hansen has "egg all over face", screamed the headlines while Radio New Zealand, perhaps unable to face the truth, posted the headline "All Blacks beat Wallabies" on their webpage before giving the correct match details.

They will have survived one of sport's great ordeals.

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