Why Rennie's Wallabies could disrupt the Eden Park record
BLEDISLOE TWO SPOTLIGHT: It’s one of the sport’s most dominant records, but might sail right over the heads of the fresh-faced Wallabies preparing for their first Eden Park experience against the All Blacks on Sunday.
Unbeaten in any Test at their Auckland fortress in 43 matches and 16 years, you have to go back to 1986 to find the All Blacks’ last loss to Australia at the ground.
With no COVID-19 restrictions and 40 000 tickets already sold and a capacity crowd of nearly 50,000 expected, the stage is set for history to repeat.
But no current Australia or New Zealand player was even born in 1986 and, after impressing in a 16-16 draw in Wellington on Sunday, Dave Rennie’s men have shown they aren’t carrying any old wounds.
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“It’s good for their confidence, but having said that, they don’t know any better,” Wallabies attack coach Scott Wisemantel told Big Sports Breakfast.
“There’s a lack of fear; they’re willing to have a go and only thing I and the coaching staff wants out of them is to say ‘ease up’ or ‘pull it back’.”
Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White – at 30 a veteran of a side with an average age of 24 – said in his three previous visits it hasn’t just been the venue that has thwarted them.
“I’m not sure how much it is to do with the field and how much it is to do with the result,” he said.
“I’ve been there a few times off a couple of wins and a draw and I think that’s as much to do with the reaction of their group as it is to where we’re playing.
“There’s so many debutants, so many rookies here that they actually don’t know (about New Zealand’s dominance) which is great, fantastic.
“They’re just going in and going ‘okay, where’s this Eden Park, where is it, what do we do?’