The brutal assessment of All Blacks' star No.9
SPOTLIGHT: A hard-fought 24-22 win by the Wallabies over the All Blacks in Brisbane put life into what remains of the Tri-Nations.
The win sees Dave Rennie secure his first win over his home nation of New Zealand.
Ian Foster’s team will rue a less-than-clinical performance in a wild match impacted by red and yellow cards on both sides. The Wallabies took their points on offer through Reece Hodge to build a slim 17-15 lead before a power cameo by Taniela Tupou secured a crucial try to lift Australia to a two-score buffer.
For the All Blacks, their attack pushed the Wallabies back at times but didn’t look like tearing the side apart despite playing against 14 men – and even 13 at one stage. Many fans weren’t impressed by the performance of scrumhalf TJ Perenara, who received just his 17th start in the black jersey in Aaron Smith’s absence.
The Hurricanes scrumhalf had a slew of handling errors and took questionable gambles such as a quick tap on his own 10-metre line followed by a territorial kick that gave Wallabies possession back in the first half. Aside from execution, many thought his overall speed was noticeably slower than Aaron Smith which contributed to the All Blacks backs not firing.
Fans claimed he ‘should’ve been replaced at half time’, and that he ‘really hurt the ABs’, with another claiming the ‘drop off’ behind Aaron Smith is ‘huge’.
Perenara should be replaced after first half..too slow and useless https://t.co/Vood0OWoU6
— Aloi (@Aloi97866245) November 7, 2020
Get Perenara off pls, he’s been useless the whole game 🤦🏽♀️ #AUSvNZL
— HWA SA (@LucyF3r8) November 7, 2020
You can't say Perenara is our second best 9. Gotta pull him #AUSvNZ
— Mark Currie (@MarkCurrieNZ) November 7, 2020
Perenara had a raft of handling errors and took some unnecessary gambles like the quick tap on his own 10-meter line followed by a kick for territory in the first half that simply gifted possession back to the Wallabies.
Aside from poor execution, many thought his overall speed was noticeably slower than Aaron Smith and pin-pointed this as the cause for the All Blacks not firing and fans claiming he “should have been replaced at half time and how he had “really hurt the AB’s” – with another claiming the “drop off” behind Aaron Smith was “huge”.
Just a couple of observations. Perenara was dreadful the coach must have seen how poor he was so why keep him on? B Barrett is an average 1st 5 and Rieko Ioane has lost all his international playing ability. Akira's cameo looked very good.
— Simon Odlum (@simonodlum) November 7, 2020
Perenara. Smith at 9 today would have provided better direction and decision making. The drop off from him to rest is huge. Weber had 2.5 mins today and showed more structure in that than Perenara did in 77.5 mins. Perenara when on song is a fine player. But when he's off…oof
— Andrew Stoddart (@stodders79) November 7, 2020
Despite a lacklustre performance, Perenara wasn’t substituted until Tupou crossed for his crucial try only three minutes from full time, leaving Chiefs scrumhalf Brad Weber on the pine for nearly the entire match.
With test reserves often strategically used to provide impact late in games, many questioned why Weber had not been injected earlier, particularly when Perenara’s night was clearly not his best.
With Weber on the pitch, the All Blacks rallied to score a late try through Tupou Vaa’i, thanks in part to Weber’s improved accuracy and speed around the ruck with less than 60 seconds to go in the game. It gave the All Blacks one final play to go the length of the field to win the game but was ultimately too little too late.
Brad Weber is a better passer of the ball than TJ. He should have been in ealier
— Chris Mwenda (@MwendaChris) November 7, 2020
Brad Weber has come on, and immediate impact. #AUSvNZL
— Hawke's Bay Magpies (@Magpies_Unoff) November 7, 2020
Brad Weber should have been brought on at half time #AUSvNZL
— Liam Harris 🏴 (@LiamHarris10) November 7, 2020
— dayaan (@d4rkunic0rn) November 7, 2020
TJ is great but Webber should have been on earlier. #AUSvNZL
— Hamish Neal (@hamishneal) November 7, 2020