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Captain Michael Hooper says Wallabies are bent, not broken

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All Blacks in record rout of Wallabies

Richie McCaw scored a brace in the All Blacks' 51-20 demolition of the Wallabies at Eden Park.

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Michael Hooper says the Wallabies "are not a broken entity" despite being blown off the park by the All Blacks' shock-and-awe tactics in Auckland on Saturday.

After a performance New Zealand coach Steve Hansen described as "yippy" in the first half, Hooper conceded the Wallabies were too passive.

But the Australian captain said there were also things they would learn from their third-biggest loss to the All Blacks since 1903 and the fixer-upper would begin next week.

Tough night: Michael Hooper trudges off following the heavy Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand.

Tough night: Michael Hooper trudges off following the heavy Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images

"It was tough, they were very good, we were a bit passive in defence, and they stuck their offloads," Hooper said. "They made good metres off us and that took it out of us.

"It's not a broken thing. We're not a broken entity. There were some good things that we could take from last week and take from tonight, and then there some things that need serious improvement.

"To learn how to win the big moments and capitalise on mistakes that the other team make – something the All Blacks were very good at."

Adam Ashley-Cooper drops the ball under pressure from Julian Savea. Click for more photos

Wallabies dismantled in second Bledisloe Cup match

The Wallabies won't get their hands on the Bledisloe Cup for the 12th straight year after being steamrolled 51-20 by the All Blacks in Auckland. Photo: AP

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said his side's performance was "extremely disappointing".

"Tonight was a great opportunity, we talked about it before the game," McKenzie said.

"I guess we showed some character at the end but I was disappointed we didn't get into the game. We kicked off and got three points, that was good strategy there and good execution, and it was one-way traffic after that. We didn't fire a shot."

The All Blacks came out of the blocks like a team with nothing to lose. The Wallabies held on for 25 minutes but the wheels fell off when Rob Simmons was shown a yellow card. 

The hosts used the overlap to score a pushover try and, when Israel Folau made a courageous break in the 30th minute, they turned the ball over and went the length of the field to score in the opposite corner. 

Three more converted tries came after the break until the Wallabies bench provided some stability and Hooper and Folau scored. 

"Our game plan is always to take it to them, but there's another team that's got its part to play in that, and they want to take it to you, too," Hansen said. 

"I think it was more than what Australia expected because they got a bit yippy there for a wee bit. They came right but in the first 20 minutes they dropped more ball than they dropped in the whole 80 [minutes]. 

"That's a sign they're not expecting the intensity that they got. Not saying that they can't cope with that, but it's a mental thing. You go in and the week before [in Sydney] they didn't get it, so why would they expect it this week."

McKenzie did not argue with his counterpart's assessment. 

"We can't sit here and pretend anything other than that we didn't perform to our expectations," he said. "We'd come off a bunch of wins, this is a really disappointing loss for us. I was disappointed how we went about it. They played well, no question, I know we're better than that, so that's why it was a very frustrating night."

The Wallabies may have lost their third hooker this season, after rookie Nathan Charles picked up a pectoral injury. The players break for a week before coming together again next weekend. 

"This is where you learn about individuals and how they respond," McKenzie said. "[New Zealand] responded well in seven days, that's our challenge now. We've got some young guys who are learning, it's going to be a steep learning curve, but we'll get on with it."

90 comments so far

  • The Wannabes do it again. Hopeless.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Date and time
    August 23, 2014, 9:55PM
    • The team they were playing was pretty good, though.

      Commenter
      Confused of Canberra
      Date and time
      August 23, 2014, 10:20PM
    • I blame the arrogance of Mckenzie. Tahs win a final with Phipps and Foley at fly half. Yet apparently Ewen knows better than the comp winning coach and picks guys out of position? The wingers are not international quality. Higginbottom should be in starting team. Robinson is the only prop that can hold his own or dominate a scrum.

      Commenter
      Blarney
      Date and time
      August 24, 2014, 10:42AM
    • They're not hopeless but they need to be a bit more focused and aggressive. They can play as well as anyone but the top two inches are where big test matches are won and lost. It's a mental game at that level and if you're too passive you'll pay. Add to that an All Blacks team that have been getting hammered from anyone with a voice lately and only know one way to reply. The All Blacks were truly awesome last night and I don't think any team would have come close. Shake it off Wallabies and get back into it next week. It's just one game.

      Commenter
      Rob
      Date and time
      August 24, 2014, 11:19AM
    • Simple, the Wannabes are just weak and arrogant. Respect history, Mr. Mckenzie, the AB's need the respect they have earned by being one of the finest sporting teams in the world. Only the Bokke can compare as they play from passion and with only Africans selected, unlike the Australian open cheque book policy to buy sporting success at any price. Money does not buy AB and Bokke pride, you just have to look at wannabes shopping daily for fresh stock from South Africa, Rugby League, Pacific Islands etc. At least we Aussies are good at hockey.

      Commenter
      marco
      Location
      perth
      Date and time
      August 24, 2014, 11:23AM
    • Hooper is no doubt a good player and he scored our only try last night but it was a serious error of judgement on McKenzie's part to make him captain.

      He is far too young for this role. He barely spoke to the team during the match and they were all over the shop. We need a very experienced player in this role who has a level head and can gee them up.

      If you want an example of a captain" who can rouse a team and bring the best out of players look no further than nemesis Richie McCaw the supposedly "has been old man" who enabled the AB's to give the Wallabies one of the biggest hidings in its history.

      Commenter
      Old Man Shows The Way Forward
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      August 24, 2014, 11:54AM
    • McKenzie should learn what back lines work. Vote one for Cheika!

      Commenter
      Shakers
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 24, 2014, 12:24PM
    • It's fickle fans like you that do not help. NZ played probably one of the best games of Rugby ever played... Ie in the history of the sport. Yet your comment is that their opposition is full of wannabes.. It's that Aussie "retreat when we lose" attitude that would be great to see removed from the Sydney/Aussie fan base.

      When your child fails, you pick them up and tell them to go harder next time. Should we not do the same or are we just here to say we are a wallabies supporter when they win?

      Commenter
      Tim
      Date and time
      August 24, 2014, 12:31PM
  • >it's going to be a steep learning curve,

    Actually, learning curves are a long-established part of the kitbag of any trainer or coach. Steep learning curves mean that the skill is mastered quickly. Shallow learning curves show only gradual change because the thing is so difficult that it's hard to display massive improvement from one demonstration to the next.

    It's a bit of a worry when McKenzie as a professional coach and trainer prefers to use the corporate-jargon definition of learning curve, rather than the professional trainer's definition.

    Anyway, for all the jargon, the Wallabies are on a shallow learning curve = slow progress.

    Commenter
    Pedant & Trainer
    Date and time
    August 23, 2014, 10:13PM
    • what's also worrying is this comment from link, "We kicked off and got three points, that was good strategy there and good execution…" i mean, really? i would think "good execution" is better focused on the basics such as ball retention, not trying to take a positive out of a 50/50 contest for the ball.

      Commenter
      gewman
      Date and time
      August 24, 2014, 10:09AM

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