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Kurtley Beale remains at five-eighth for game two of Bledisloe Cup

Still at 10 ... Kurtley Beale, right, at training with Israel Folau.

Still at 10 ... Kurtley Beale, right, at training with Israel Folau. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has backed the same team to go one better than last week's draw and crack the Eden Park hoodoo against the All Blacks this weekend.

McKenzie has left the entire 23-man line up unchanged after Saturday's 12-12 deadlock in Sydney. Kurtley Beale will wear the No.10 jersey for a second week and Bernard Foley will come off the bench, as will Nick Phipps, Tevita Kuridrani, Will Skelton, Scott Higginbotham, Ben Alexander, Pek Cowan and James Hanson. 

After rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather will fine up in Auckland, with Eden Park expected to be dry but cool - it could be just 10 degrees at kick-off. 

"We were impressed with the pressure we were able to apply in the opening Test and, despite some errors, were pleased with the intent of the group to continue attacking despite the poor weather conditions," McKenzie said.

"I imagine both teams are excited by the prospect of a dry evening in Auckland on Saturday night, which will have an influence on the way the game is played.

"For us, we know we need to be more clinical in certain areas, but overall we feel the same group of guys deserve the opportunity to have another crack."

The Wallabies have not beaten New Zealand at the All Blacks' fortress since 1986. They trumped Wales there in the bronze medal playoff at the 2011 world cup but results against New Zealand have been one-sided. 

In Australia the Wallabies have recorded two draws in two years against their arch rivals - an 18-18 thriller at Suncorp in 2012 and Saturday's result - but have not beaten them for three years. 

Last year's Bledisloe Cup series featured just the one Test on Australian soil, the first Test under Ewen McKenzie, which ended in a 47-29 hammering. 

The result in Wellington a week later was 27-16 and in Dunedin in October the Wallabies hit on some semblance of their attacking mojo, going down 41-33 but scoring three tries in the process. 

"Selection is never easy, although we’ve made a lot of tough decisions in this space over the past 12 months with the ultimate goal of winning games," McKenzie said.

"You’re always looking to improve and I’m confident the sum of those hard choices has put us in a better position today.

"While we didn’t quite get there on Saturday night, I do know that we’ve made good progress since our first Test against New Zealand a year ago. 

"That gives us some confidence heading into what will be an extremely tough challenge in Auckland on Saturday night."

Australia: Israel Folau, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne, Kurtley Beale, Nic White, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper (c), Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Sam Carter, Sekope Kepu, Nathan Charles, James Slipper. Replacements: James Hanson, Pek Cowan, Ben Alexander, Will Skelton, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Tevita Kuridrani.

62 comments so far

  • please stop White from kicking the ball away all the time! im shocked he is still starting after last weeks performance!

    Date and time
    August 19, 2014, 11:55AM
    • @Macca and @Camphi could not agree more it is by far the worst part of Aussie game. Only change to be made is Phibbs needs to start has combination with KB and wont do stupid kicks

      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 12:11PM
    • +1. His performance was really poor and the box-kicking should be banned. It rarely pays off. He seems to have a very hands-off approach to getting the ball out of the contested ruck when it needs to be won and looks to the ref for a penalty. Get stuck in there and get your hands dirty. Phipps should be starting.

      Get Real
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 12:16PM
    • Agree!! It is a good idea to try a high kick in the wet but when you see it is not working you need to adjust and stop and do something different. I think the head clash he had in the game must have stopped him thinking clearly!!!!! It was so frustrating to watch kick after kick go nowhere and continually give away possession.

      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 12:17PM
    • If McKenzie continues to talk like that we will never win.
      How much better were we when Phipps came on and actually passed the ball

      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 2:13PM
    • How many box kicks does he need to have tipped and/or charged down before he stops doing it! I counted three and yet he persisted! Bring in Nick Phipps instead!

      Tahs Fan
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 2:21PM
    • Phipps should be no 9.

      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 3:49PM
    • The scene - inside a half back's brain. The moment - just after his forwards steal the ball from an attacking team lineout or ruck. "Wow, they've won the ball, oh goodie, now what? I know, I'll kick it straight back to them so they can run at us on the other side of the field. And everyone will look at me as I do it. Here goes, don't I look good....

      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 4:59PM
  • Can someone tell 'Kick' White to stop #%*!&^ boxkicking!

    Date and time
    August 19, 2014, 11:59AM
    • +1. White telegraphs his kicks (as does Genia) and the ABs are all over them. They should not be done in one's own half unless going for distance. Noone played themselves out of the team so I'm not surprised, but I do think that Willy and Phipps should be released earlier. The backs got a lot more space with Phipps' faster service. This time maybe Foley should replace Toomua to really unleash the backs (with KB moving to 12).
      Hopefully this will be a better game than the first test.

      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 12:32PM

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