Palmerbet Sports Team packs down with Rugby Union tips as the Wallabies look to go back-to-back against the All Blacks and lift the Bledisloe Cup.
21:45 (AEST), Sat 10th Aug @ Optus Stadium, Perth
History: Played 165: New Zealand 114 V Australia 44 (7 Draws)
Last meeting: August 10, 2019: Australia 47 d New Zealand 26 at Optus Oval
Final Thoughts: Australia produced one of their finest displays in years to stun the New Zealand in Perth last weekend. But do they have enough resolve to end a 33-year Eden Park hoodoo and reclaim the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002?
A wounded All Blacks side is as dangerous opponent as there is – and they are certainly smarting after last week’s 47-26 thrashing from the Wallabies.
The world champs scored two tries to one in the first half, but they trailed 16-10 and the break and lost Scott Barrett to a red card just before the teams headed for the sheds. The Wallabies took advantage of the extra man with a sizzling second-half display, running in four tries to wind up convincing winners.
James O’Connor enjoyed a dream return, while fellow recalled stalwarts Nic White and Christian Lealiifano were superb. Giant lock Rory Arnold has been ruled out in a big blow, which sees Adam Coleman come in for the Auckland assignment. David Pocock remains sidelined.
The All Blacks have rung the changes – in intriguing fashion. Patrick Tuipolotu and Sonny Bill Williams replace the suspended Scott Barrett and injured Josh Goodhue respectively. The big shock, though, is international novices Sevu Reece and George Bridge replacing wingers Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane. Owen Franks makes way for Nepo Laulala in the front-row.
Steve Hansen will also persist with Richie Mo’unga at No.10 and Beauden Barrett at fullback, as well as Ardie Savea at blindside flanker.
The Auckland bogey
The Wallabies’ win last week was just their third from their last 22 Tests against the All Blacks. Meanwhile, the Wallabies are aiming to snap a 27-Test losing streak against the ABs on New Zealand soil. Their last victory across the Tasman was in Christchurch in 1998.
Australia’s Eden Park drought stretches back 18 Tests to 1986. New Zealand has not lost at the ground to any nation in 42 Tests dating back to 1994.
It’s hard to bet against an All Blacks bounce-back. But the fact is their 2019 form has been subpar to say the least. The Wallabies were ordinary against South Africa and Argentina too, but their tails are up after last week’s sizzling display. They are as well-placed to end their Eden Park and Bledisloe woes as they’ve been in a long time, and the visitors shapes as top value again with a big start.