JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Michael Hooper's Wallabies stand up to sternest test against All Blacks

Wallabies 12 All Blacks 12

Tireless: Michael Hooper charges ahead.

Tireless: Michael Hooper charges ahead. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper’s faith in his restructured forward pack was never clearer than in the last few minutes of the first half of Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks.  Twice he rejected the option to kick for goal when awarded a penalty and instead chose to go for the scrum.

While 9-3 down, it was a risky call on a night when the wet weather meant there would hardly be a plethora of tries; but on the second occasion it was more positive risk.

 Israel Folau puts on a big fend. Click for more photos

Wallabies hold All Blacks in Bledisloe I

It was a case of close, but no cigar as the Wallabies failed to punish the All Blacks for two yellow cards and a host of opportunities. Photo: AFP

That being because the All Blacks pack had just lost loose-head prop Wyatt Crockett after he was yellow-carded for offside in front of their own line meaning (after Ben Franks came on as Crockett's scrum replacement) the All Blacks had to surrender blindside breakaway Jerome Kaino and be one player down – a valuable player, too.

Hooper’s faith in the scrum was justified. From man of the match and loosehead prop James Slipper, to hooker Nathan Charles, tighthead Sekope Kepu and second-rowers Rob Simmons and Sam Carter; to the back row of Hooper, Scott Fardy and No.8 Wycliff Palu – and the reserves who came on for them.

Sure, the Wallabies did not dominate in set piece, but for the most part they had parity. Their intent to pack low and tight against undoubted pressure from their opposition was more promising than what many expected in a pack that had lost four front-rowers – three hookers and one prop – in the lead-up to the Bledisloe Cup opener.

So Hooper’s call may well have been a master stroke, had the Wallabies made the best of their possession from the scrum their captain had called for when granted the penalty; especially when so close to the posts a converted try offered a 10-9 scoreline.

Alas, it was not to be and some poor handling and lack of calm under pressure cost them the chance, and in turn  the All Blacks held  on to a 9-3 lead at half-time after Kurtley Beale’s penalty attempt after a third penalty was awarded  hit the posts. A lot of mauling was to be expected with both teams  playing in tight in the wet weather, and in turn  fatigue and pressure mounted.

The All Blacks back row of Kaino, captain and No. 7 Richie McCaw and No.8 Keiran Read was certainly impressive though – McCaw showing he was far from a spent force as some tried to suggest in recent weeks.

McCaw didn’t waste time in proving  that, forcing  a turnover from Beale after the No. 10 took a high ball in the seventh minute in the Wallabies half.

He also excelled in shutting down the inside channel from many Wallabies attacks. But Read and Kaino were splendid, too.

For the Wallabies, the back row of Hooper, Fardy and Palu, who play 70 minutes, were tireless. Fardy in particular showed a lot of energy and intent in his contest for ball in the maul and lineout – even if in the latter he ran foul of referee Jaco Peyper on occasion. He emptied the tank in his 66 minutes until Scott Higginbotham came on.

While the All Blacks line-out was superb, the Wallabies lineout for the most part went well. Charles showed impressive accuracy with his throws – but it was still a lineout that was not without error too, such as with one throw-in by Charles in the 35th minute  and another in the 64th minute when the All Blacks stole it fair and square.

13 comments so far

  • Put Beale at 12, Foley at 10 and AAC at 13. The Waratah combination will work here.

    Date and time
    August 17, 2014, 12:35AM
    • Phipps 9, Foley 10, Tamoua 12, AAC 13, Folau wing, Speight Wing, Beale 15


      Date and time
      August 17, 2014, 1:36PM
  • Not quite sure why we're trumpeting a draw so much against a team down to 14 for a quarter of the game in levelling conditions. One of those yellow's was seriously questionable.

    Don't think the AB's will be too worried next week.

    Date and time
    August 17, 2014, 7:35AM
    • @ Jackal, what nationality are you? Just curious.

      Old Hickory
      Date and time
      August 17, 2014, 9:21PM
    • Yeah but not bad for the thirds. Any AFL or NRL would run rings round these boring lumbering
      blunderheads......which is why real rugby or AFL is about skilled athletes not boring bums up scrums

      Date and time
      August 17, 2014, 9:30PM
  • The AB's will be very nervous because they know now the Wallabies can play absolutely appallingly, in pouring rain with numerous amateurish mistakes and still match it with them. Even when the All Blacks pull out their special occasion haka.
    The Wallabies have nothing to fear but success.

    Date and time
    August 17, 2014, 10:14AM
    • Or the wallabies will be asking themselves - how didn't we win with 65% of possession, 65% of territory, with 2 of their players in the bin, what do we have to do to breach that defence?

      Shane D
      Date and time
      August 17, 2014, 8:07PM
    • Well they can hardly lose any silverware can they?

      Don't think the All Blacks are nervous mate, more frustrated they didn't put the Wallabies away in the first half.

      Perth via Rakaia
      Date and time
      August 18, 2014, 10:58AM
  • I always said, When you give a little man a bit of authority, he tries to be center stage. Piper was disgraceful, always has been always will be, unlike the ref In the SA v Argentina game where the ref spoke to, and helped the players in condition the same as at Sydney.

    Pedantic, through and through.

    However, I must say to my Wallaby mad grandson (Taine, yes named after Taine Randell, former AB captain) Your Wallaby team is playing 50% better rugby than they have for the past 5 years. It's great to see them back again.

    Date and time
    August 17, 2014, 2:04PM
    • The whole of NZ is rattled hence the derogatory comments because that's all they can muster in their defence. Time to get used to losing. Commonwealth sevens fail. Junior World Cup fail. Women's World Cup fail. Super rugby fail.

      Jervis Bay
      Date and time
      August 17, 2014, 10:55PM

      More comments

      Make a comment

      You are logged in as [Logout]

      All information entered below may be published.

      Error: Please enter your screen name.

      Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Please enter your comment.

      Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

      Post to

      You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

      Thank you

      Your comment has been submitted for approval.

      Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

      Related Coverage

      Bledisloe Cup: Wallabies break All Blacks' record run in opener

      A scrappy band of mud-smeared Wallabies denied the world's best Test rugby dynasty a history-making, record-breaking 18th win on the trot in front of a rain-affected 68,627 fans in Sydney.

      Ewen McKenzie defends Michael Hooper over penalty calls

      The exasperation in the voice of Wallabies captain Michael Hooper was clear after his side drew 12-12 with the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday night.

      Five things we learnt from the slippery Bledisloe Cup opener

      Much has been written about kicking in Australian rugby this year. The lingering legacy of Jake White’s stint at the Brumbies is tactics that value field position above all else. Kicking in rugby is not the problem. Bad kicking is.

      Eden Park – the All Blacks fortress the Wallabies must breach in second Bledisloe Cup Test

      Click on the Auckland city website and their catch cry is ‘‘The Show never Stops.’’

      Eastwood trounce Southern Districts in Shute Shield grand final

      A 51-6 thumping in last year's grand final was playing in the back of their minds, but Eastwood managed to hold their nerve to win their fifth Shute Shield final 33-13 at Concord Oval on Saturday afternoon.

      Nathan Charles Wallabies hold All Blacks in Bledisloe I

      It was a case of close, but no cigar as the Wallabies failed to punish the All Blacks for two yellow cards and a host of opportunities.

      Related Coverage

      Super Rugby 2015

      Round 1
      Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 10vs REB 20 Report Stats
      BRU 47vs RED 3 Stats
      Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
      LIO 8vs HUR 22 Report Stats
      BLU 18vs CHF 23 Report Stats
      Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
      SHA 29vs CHT 35 Report Stats
      BUL 17vs STO 29 Report Stats
      WAR 13vs FOR 25 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 19vs BRU 17 Report Stats
      REB 28vs WAR 38 Report Stats
      Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 13vs HUR 17 Report Stats
      HIG 20vs CRU 26 Report Stats
      RED 18vs FOR 6 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
      STO 27vs BLU 16 Report Stats
      SHA 29vs LIO 12 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 20vs RED 13 Report Stats
      FOR 13vs HUR 42 Stats
      Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 25vs BLU 24 Report Stats
      CHF 40vs CRU 16 Stats
      REB 15vs BRU 20 Report Stats
      Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 43vs SHA 35 Report Stats
      LIO 19vs STO 22 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 17vs HIG 20 Report Stats
      BRU 27vs FOR 15 Report Stats
      Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BLU 10vs LIO 13 Report Stats
      RED 5vs WAR 23 Report Stats
      Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 20vs BUL 39 Report Stats
      STO 29vs SHA 13 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 30vs BLU 23 Report Stats
      FOR 17vs REB 21 Report Stats
      Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 34vs LIO 6 Report Stats
      HIG 26vs WAR 19 Report Stats
      RED 0vs BRU 29 Stats
      Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
      STO 19vs CHF 28 Report Stats
      CHT 10vs SHA 27 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 13vs HUR 20 Report Stats
      REB 16vs LIO 20 Report Stats
      Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 57vs CHT 14 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 25vs FOR 24 Report Stats
      SHA 12vs CHF 11 Report Stats
      WAR 28vs BRU 13 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 36vs REB 12 Report Stats
      RED 17vs LIO 18 Report Stats
      Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 37vs CHT 27 Report Stats
      HIG 39vs STO 21 Report Stats
      WAR 23vs BLU 11 Report Stats
      Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
      SHA 15vs FOR 9 Report Stats
      BUL 31vs CRU 19 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 25vs STO 20 Report Stats
      REB 23vs RED 15 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 23vs BLU 16 Report Stats
      BRU 20vs CHT 3 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
      SHA 10vs CRU 52 Report Stats
      LIO 22vs BUL 18 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      BLU 16vs BRU 14 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 20vs HIG 25 Report Stats
      WAR 18vs STO 32 Report Stats
      FOR 15vs CHT 24 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      LIO 23vs SHA 21 Report Stats
      BUL 43vs RED 22 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 9vs CHF 26 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      HUR 24vs WAR 29 Report Stats
      HIG 30vs BLU 24 Report Stats
      BRU 8vs REB 13 Report Stats
      FOR 6vs STO 13 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      SHA 10vs BUL 17 Report Stats
      CHT 17vs RED 18 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHF 35vs FOR 27 Report Stats
      BRU 31vs HIG 18 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 29vs BLU 15 Report Stats
      WAR 18vs REB 16 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      LIO 34vs CHT 29 Report Stats
      STO 15vs BUL 13 Report Stats
      RED 19vs HUR 35 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      HIG 48vs SHA 15 Report Stats
      BRU 10vs WAR 13 Report Stats
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      BLU 41vs FOR 24 Report Stats
      HUR 29vs CRU 23 Report Stats
      REB 16vs CHF 15 Report Stats
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHT 25vs STO 17 Report Stats
      BUL 35vs LIO 33 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU 58vs RED 17 Report Stats
      REB 42vs BLU 22 Report Stats
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR 32vs SHA 24 Report Stats
      FOR 18vs WAR 11 Report Stats
      LIO 28vs HIG 23 Report Stats
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      STO 25vs BRU 24 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      BLU 23vs BUL 18 Report Stats
      RED 46vs REB 29 Report Stats
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR 22vs CHF 18 Report Stats
      WAR 33vs SHA 18 Report Stats
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      LIO 20vs BRU 30 Report Stats
      CHT 24vs HIG 45 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHF 34vs BUL 20 Report Stats
      RED 14vs SHA 21 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      BLU 5vs HUR 29 Report Stats
      WAR 32vs CRU 22 Report Stats
      FOR 3vs HIG 23 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHT 17vs LIO 40 Report Stats
      STO 31vs REB 15 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU 35vs HUR 18 Report Stats
      BRU 22vs BUL 16 Report Stats
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      SHA 25vs REB 21 Report Stats
      HIG 36vs CHF 9 Report Stats
      FOR 10vs RED 32 Report Stats
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      STO 42vs CHT 12 Report Stats
      LIO 27vs WAR 22 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      HUR 56vs HIG 20 Report Stats
      FOR 20vs BRU 33 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      REB 21vs BUL 20 Report Stats
      BLU 11vs CRU 34 Report Stats
      RED 3vs CHF 24 Report Stats
      CHT 33vs WAR 58 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      STO 19vs LIO 19 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      BLU 7vs HIG 44 Report Stats
      REB 11vs FOR 13 Report Stats
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      BRU 24vs CRU 37 Report Stats
      CHF 13vs HUR 21 Report Stats
      WAR 31vs RED 5 Report Stats
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      BUL 29vs CHT 42 Report Stats
      SHA 34vs STO 12 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Super Rugby Qualifying Finals
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      HIG 24vs CHF 14 Report Stats
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      STO 19vs BRU 39 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Super Rugby Semi Finals
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      HUR 29vs BRU 9 Stats
      WAR 17vs HIG 35 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Super Rugby Grand Final
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      HUR 14vs HIG 21 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Super Rugby 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D +/- Pts
      Hurricanes 16 14 2 0 170 66
      Waratahs 16 11 5 0 96 52
      Stormers 16 10 5 1 50 45
      Highlanders 16 11 5 0 117 53
      Brumbies 16 9 7 0 108 47
      Lions 16 9 6 1 -22 42
      Chiefs 16 10 6 0 73 48
      Bulls 16 7 9 0 9 38
      View all

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers