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'Hansen has egg on his face': World reacts to Wallabies shock win

Author
news.com.au,
Section
Rugby,
Publish Date
Sunday, 11 August 2019, 10:11AM
Wallabies captain Reece Hodge celebrates. (Photo / Getty)
Wallabies captain Reece Hodge celebrates. (Photo / Getty)

The Wallabies claimed a famous Test victory over the All Blacks in the 100th match between the two countries as the men in gold ran riot in Perth.

It was a record night for the Aussies who sounded a World Cup warning by defeating their fiercest rivals 47-26. It's the most points Australia has ever scored in one game against New Zealand and equalled the record for the biggest winning margin over the Kiwis.

But the Wallabies' path to Bledisloe Cup glory is a difficult one with the All Blacks' insane Eden Park record a huge stumbling block as the teams prepare to square off at the iconic Auckland venue next weekend.

Here are the talking points from the first Bledisloe Cup match.

'HANSEN HAS EGG ON HIS FACE'
Tom Decent, of the Sydney Morning Herald said:
"In the space of 80 inspirational minutes, Australia have transformed themselves from World Cup no-hopers to contenders in Japan later this year after a 47-26 victory in a Bledisloe Cup opener in which Michael Hooper's men scored more points against the All Blacks than any team in Test history. Let that sink in for a second. Yes, the All Blacks were reduced to 14 men for the second half but that is a scoreline that will invoke nostalgia in the most disillusioned Wallabies fan.

"It turns out All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has egg dripping all over his face after his comment that Mickey Mouse was coaching Australia."

Julian Linden, of the Daily Telegraph said:

"The Wallabies' long suffering fans can start believing again that the Bledisloe Cup — and maybe even the World Cup — could soon be coming home after a record breaking performance last night.

"In defiance of all the gloomy pre-match predictions, Michael Cheika's Australians hammered New Zealand 47-26 in a front of a massive crowd of 61,241 at Optus Stadium to offer fresh hope that better times are ahead after 12 months of misery, littered with embarrassing losses and the division over Israel Folau's exit from the game."

WORLD REACTS TO WALLABIES BOILOVER

Plenty of fans were excited by what they saw with some even predicting a charge all the way to World Cup glory on the back of the performance.

Post match, a subdued Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said "all we did was book a ticket to Auckland".

"It's a great atmosphere and great for the players to get the win but in the bigger scheme of things that's what we've got ourselves - a ticket to go there and take the opportunity that we're going to get given there."

Cheika said the fact that they faced an undermanned All Blacks didn't take any gloss off the win.

"Not a chance," he said. "When they've got 15 on the field it feels like 20 so when they've got 14 it still feels like 17 or 18 as they have so many threats. It's not like they weren't scoring tries."

WALLABIES FACE 33-YEAR GRAVEYARD

The Wallabies' new style shone in its biggest test as they roared to a record-setting points tally.

While it's just the second win for the Wallabies over the All Blacks in their past 11 matches, the result is massive for the Aussies as they hunt their first Bledisloe Cup victory in 17 years.

But claiming the trophy at Eden Park will be no small feat.

It's been 18 games dating back to 1986 since Australia last won at Eden Park, while the All Blacks' last loss at the ground came against France in 1994.

Another performance like the one on Saturday night in Perth will be required if Australia wants to win back the Bledisloe Cup in enemy territory.

The victory in Perth equals the Wallabies' biggest winning margin over the All Blacks, with the 21-point tally matching a 28-7 win in Sydney in 1999.

Kieran Read talks in the huddle. Photo / Getty

Kieran Read talks in the huddle. Photo / Getty

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper had a massive performance and praised his side for the famous win.

"I'm very proud of the build up, I'm very proud of the building we've been talking about and it has turned into a good result tonight," Hooper said. "It's a little confidence and momentum (boost) for us tonight."

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read said the All Blacks' discipline let the world champions down.

"They were very good tonight and we knew that was going to be the case," he said. "We've got one chance, it's a do or die game and both teams are going to be up for it. We'll get back to Auckland and look forward to that one."

REFEREE'S 'MASSIVE CALL'

All Blacks star Scott Barrett was sent off just on halftime for a shoulder charge on Hooper.

French referee Jerome Garces decided Barrett made contact with Hooper's head and neck and the All Blacks were forced to play the entire second half with 14 men.

In the new rugby regulations, contact with the head and neck is an automatic red card.

It was just the second red card in Australia-New Zealand rugby history, and the fourth in All Blacks history.

Scott Barrett is shown the red card. Photo / Getty

Scott Barrett is shown the red card. Photo / Getty

Garces was the referee who sent the last All Blacks player off when Sonny Bill Williams was punted in 2017. He's also set to referee the All Blacks' first World Cup match against South Africa.

"Teams know that any contact to the head is a direct red card," Gordon Bray said on Channel 10.

"That's a massive call," former Wallaby Rod Kafer said on Fox Sports. "It changes the game. Yes penalty, yes yellow card but the referees have come down hard in a World Cup year."

Ex-Aussie hooker Phil Kearns added: "It's not often I have sympathy for an All Black and yeah I know the rules but is that really a send-off offence?"

Kafer said it was a "no-brainer".

"Under the law, the way it gets refereed, it is a red card. He's not that kind of player but in the heat of battle, I can tell you, when you want to put a shot on, you want to hit a bloke," he said.

Christian Lealiifano kicked the resulting penalty goal to make it 16-12 and the Wallabies went on with the win in the second half.

The world was split on the call. The New Zealand Herald's Patrick McKendry said the game will "live long in the memory for probably the wrong reasons" on the back of the red card.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen didn't want to blame the red card for his side's loss, saying it simply wasn't good enough as it missed too many tackles, particularly in the first half.

"It's not the team you want to play 14 against," Hansen said. "They play a similar style of footy to us. At the end of the day, both teams were absolutely knackered out on their feet. All credit to Australia, I'm still proud of the way our guys played with 14 men.

"Lots can change in seven days, we've just got to get our game going and playing with more confidence."

LOMU-ESQUE AUSSIE LEADS CHARGE

Australia's Marika Koroibete channelled one of the All Blacks' most identifiable players with a rollicking run to set up the victory.

Koroibete rampaged just inside the touchline, looking like Jonah Lomu as he bumped off Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett before passing to halfback Nic White to score the Wallabies' third try.

It was a stunning sight to see and another positive sign for the Wallabies.

With the returning James O'Connor setting up tries in his first starting appearance for the Wallabies in six years, it was a mighty impressive performance from the centres.

Ardie Savea fends off Tom Banks of the Wallabies. Photo / Getty

Ardie Savea fends off Tom Banks of the Wallabies. Photo / Getty

It was a brilliant night for O'Connor, setting up the first try with a perfectly timed pass to put Reece Hodge through a gap for the first try.

The 29-year-old was awe-struck post match, soaking up the incredible atmosphere.

"What a special moment, for me to do it where it first started in Perth, where I was at my most powerful, 60,000 people, the whole town was behind us," he said.

"I want to play that second link, we've got so many exciting outside backs and even our loose forwards can carry and beat guys one-on-one so my game is just connecting those guys and letting them do what they do.

"Tonight for me was me and the rugby, no other distractions, just enjoying the game."

REPORTS OF RUGBY'S DEATH EXAGGERATED

It was the first match between the Wallabies and All Blacks at Optus Stadium and Perth's fans were out in force.

In an indication of the appetite for rugby between the great rivals, the crowd was pumping. The 61,241 spectators is a record for Perth's new stadium.

Perth has become a happy hunting ground for the Wallabies with six wins and a draw in their last seven matches in the city.

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