Bledisloe III Preview: Wallabies v All Blacks - Green and Gold Rugby

Bledisloe III Preview: Wallabies v All Blacks

Bledisloe III Preview: Wallabies v All Blacks

The Bledisloe series heads back to Australia after two thrilling games in New Zealand, with the Wallabies looking for a treat not trick as they face the All Blacks on Halloween.

The mission is simple for the Wallabies: if they win, it all comes down to the final test match in Brisbane on November 7. If the result is the same as game one or two, the Cup stays in New Zealand


The first test under Dave Rennie was an incredible performance for the Wallabies as they took it to the All Blacks in Wellington. In the end, it would come down to a penalty goal from Reece Hodge, which shaved the upright, ensuring that the game finished as a 16-all draw.

The second test was what we had come to expect from the All Blacks, who took advantage of a wasteful Wallabies outfit as they cruised to a 27-7 win in their spiritual home of Eden Park. Caleb Clarke would prove to be the difference-maker on his run-on debut, running for a game-high 123 metres on eight carries, including three clean breaks and 14 tackle busts.

Team News

The Wallabies have reacted to the disappointing performance at Eden Park with a number of changes, the main one being at flyhalf with Noah Lolesio making his debut in place of an injured James O’Connor. He partners up with Brumbies teammate Irae Simone, who slots into inside centre with Matt Toomua ruled out for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, tight-head prop Allan Alaalatoa rotates with Taniela Tupou and Dane Haylett-Petty replaces Tom Banks at fullback whilst Reds pair Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight come onto the bench for Jake Gordon and Liam Wright

Noah Lolesio

Noah Lolesio

For the All Blacks, Hoskins Sotutu gets his first start at No.8 with Ardie Savea still in NZ on paternity leave. Karl Tu’inukuafe comes in at loosehead prop for Joe Moody, who is still recovering after a head knock, whilst veteran Sam Whitelock returns at starting lock for the ANZ Stadium clash.

Along with this, Dalton Papalii and Ngani Laumape also make their first appearances of 2020 on the bench.

Key Match-Ups

Simone tries to evade.

Simone tries to evade.

Irae Simone v Jack Goodhue

Irae Simone has arguably been one of the Brumbies best over the past 18-24 months, establishing himself as the form inside centre in the country. He has been handed one of the toughest assignments in World Rugby, matched up to face Crusaders gun Jack Goodhue.

Whilst his mullet may be long gone, Goodhue is one of the premier midfielders/centres in the world and I thought his defensive effort in shutting down the Wallabies backline went un-noticed during the last test. The Wallabies looked lost when Toomua fell to the groin sniper in the crowds and Simone needs to assert himself with a less than experience centre partner in Petaia outside of him if they want to cause the upset.

Allan Alaalatoa

Allan Alaalatoa

Allan Alaalatoa v Karl Tu’inukuafe
I know that I’m comparing a loose and a tight head and this will anger the Scrum gods but I feel like both props will be crucial towards deciding the contest in the forwards. Alaalatoa comes in for his first start of the year with direct instructions to ‘empty the tank’ from Dave Rennie with Tupou expected to come on in the second half. Meanwhile, the moustache mountain that is Tu’inukuafe comes in for just his seventh career start for experience prop Joe Moody, who seems to set to tone for the AB’s at scrum time.

With Moody out and Owen Franks long gone, it seemingly represents a new age for the All Blacks at scrum time, something that the Wallabies need to take advantage of. Alaalatoa is world-class when it comes down to set pieces and he needs to establish dominance early on in what is expected to be wet conditions in Sydney.

Keys to victory

1. Do not kick the ball in space to:
a. anyone in jersey 11 for the All Blacks
b. any Blues winger
c. anyone in the bloodline of former All Black Eroni Clarke
d. anyone born on 29 March 1999

I think I’ve made it clear, DO NOT KICK THE BALL TO CALEB CLARKE IN SPACE. The Wallabies went way too deep with their kicks in comparison to game one, allowing Clarke to just steamroll them. When you have a fullback lining up on the other wing, the majority of in-play kicks need to go to Jordie’s side and they need to force the All Blacks to find ways to get him into the game. If not, follow a similar pattern to what they did to Bridge and give zero time or space.

2. Tighten up skills
Sounds simple enough but the Wallabies were far too wasteful in the second test match. They gave up rugby’s version of a 40/20: 40 missed tackles and 20 turnovers, which is at Alcatraz/Azkaban levels of crimes to commit against the All Blacks. This will be harder to achieve in wet, greasy conditions in Sydney but we saw how effective the Wallabies could be when they do so.

3. Do not let the All Blacks dominate the ruck
This has been a theme of both games, with the Wallabies caught in situations with little support and ruck presence on the AB’s line, causing a turnover. They need the forwards to set a strong platform and effectively remove any counter-rucking attempts to allow continual phases whilst we’re in attack to build pressure and take advantage of territory

4. Bring back the line-speed
An under-rated aspect of the game one performance, the Wallabies gave the likes of Goodhue and Mo’ounga next to no time to make a decision, forcing a number of errors. Simone especially needs to put pressure on the ball in order to disrupt the backline in the slippy conditions.

All Blacks
1. Put Noah Lolesio under pressure
Noah Lolesio enters as an x-factor heading into his first official test match (sitting on the bench does not count in my eyes). He’s shown at the Super Rugby level that he has what it takes to succeed so the All Blacks must not allow him to settle. I expect them to give him a nice early present in the form of a steam-rolling Caleb Clarke as they look to batter the debutant.

2. Find ways to use Caleb Clarke off the ball
Caleb Clarke bullied the Wallabies in the last test match, producing one of the greatest run-on debuts in recent memory. In the words of Michael Jordan, the Wallabies have seemed to take this personally, with Filipo Daugunu essentially saying that there is a target on his back. With this in mind, the All Blacks need to use him more a decoy for set-pieces in the hopes that the Wallabies back get overzealous, allowing the likes of Ioane and Barrett squared to find space.

3. Disrupt the lineout
Name a better combo: Australian teams and struggling to hit their targets at the lineout. This has seemed to be a probably across both Super Rugby and the Bledisloe, with the Wallabies reacting last week with the selection of Brandon Pangea-Amosa. Whilst there was a slight improvement, the All Blacks need to maintain their pressure in the wet and wild conditions, with the inclusion of Sam Whitelock coming as a major boost.

4. Run the offence through Beauden Barrett
I know what I said about Clarke earlier, but BB is one of the most under-appreciated players in that All Blacks set-up. He was electric in the second test match and should be back to full fitness after the extended rest in between test matches. With the attention going to Clarke, the Wallabies need to wary of his all-round brilliance and the All Blacks need to set up plays similar to their first try in order to break the Aussies open.


I’d loved to say that the Wallabies will bounce back and even the series up. I just can’t after seeing the performance from two weeks ago. What we see was that there is still a difference in quality between the two sides best and worst and I think NZ will be too good.

Match Prediction: All Blacks by 12
Bold Prediction: No tries for Caleb Clarke

Match Details

Wallabies (1-15): James Slipper, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Allan Alaalatoa, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Harry Wilson, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Marika Koroibete, Irae Simone, Jordan Petaia, Filipo Daugunu, Dane Haylett-Petty

Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Fraser McReight, Tate McDermott, Reece Hodge, Hunter Paisami

All Blacks (1-15): Karl Tu’inukuafe, Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (c), Hoskins Sotutu, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Caleb Clarke, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett

Reserves: Codie Taylor, Alex Hodgman, Tyrel Lomax, Scott Barrett, Dalton Papalii, TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape, Rieko Ioane.

Date: Saturday October 31
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 7:30 pm AEDT (7:15pm local time)
Where to Watch: Fox Sports 3 (Channel 503) and Channel 10 (Free To Air)

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
TMO: Angus Gardner (Australia)

  • Custardtaht

    I think if the Wallabies can score more points than the All Blacks, they’ll win.

    • Yowie

      Should we worry about whether we’re scoring points in an Australian enough way anymore?

      • Custardtaht

        Speaking for myself, I am open to scoring points anyway which way and loose.

        However, I feel the game will be tighter than old mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

        So hopefully, Hooper buys into the nobody puts baby in the corner and takes the 3 when on offer.

        • Yowie

          After enough beer a 3 on offer looks like an 8 or a 9 anyway.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Ah, the old ‘difference between a dog and a fox’ (i.e. 6 beers)

        • onlinesideline

          over the last few years usually a 3 on offer should have been a 7 most times anyway , so you were only 1 or 2 points drunk

        • Keith Butler

          Crikey CT this is a sea change. My beloved SDs of old were criticised from pillar to post for taking points on offer. Couldn’t agree more though. When you are playing the best take what you can to keep the scoreboard ticking over and the tries will come. Go the G&G.

        • Yowie

          I’ll continue to criticize the Poms for any reason that remotely sticks.

          (Hypocrisy is only a problem when it’s other people doing it.)

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Hahahaha nope mate. All points count and people remember the score not how they happened

    • From NooZealand

      Love the depth of observation

      • Custardtaht

        Sometimes it’s easy to over think things, keep it simple.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahaha awesome

  • Munaman

    I had a dream last night that the light was cast upon the darkness!! I sense a harbinger of glad tidings for the weary, the desperate and the maligned souls of the true believers, forever hopeful that we can taste a victory tomorrow, empty the tank lads!

    • Hoss
      • Yowie

        Gandalf must have coached Samu Kerevi at some point.

        • Hoss

          Fuck, i need better glasses – i thought it was Anastacia at the border.

        • Custardtaht

          The best way to tell Gadalf from Anastasia, is to look at their beards…….

      • Munaman

        I swear it was Owen Finnegan

        • Yowie

          The big unit made of lava?

      • Reds Revival

        I prefer the original

    • From NooZealand

      Very poetic, very soft for rugby.

  • Hoss

    Nath if the Clydesdales kick ‘shaved the upright’ in game one please don’t open a barbers shop. I don’t think you can afford the litigation, nor the insurance.

    • Steve


  • Adrian

    Rain should clear by kick off.

    The ground drains well.

    I’m hoping we explode out of the blocks with fast and furious attack and defence.

    NZ may come prepared for wet weather, but I don’t think it will be.

    We should kick when WE want to, and either kick very long away from Clark and Barrett, or short AND chased…. also away from Clark and Barrett.

    Lolo and Simone can both kick accurately, and DHP (and Hodge) can kick long.

    When we tackle, dig the finger nails in, and DON’T LET GO.

    Bring it on

    We are a chance

    • Custardtaht

      If the rain clears, the Dews will come in with its slippery balls.

      • Adrian

        Banks isn’t playing

  • Tim

    How does simmons keep his spot?

    • Geoffro

      By staying here and not fucking off o/seas

      • Timbo

        And by taking a pay cut when he saw that maybe being paid a lot to play sport was a little silly when others who weren’t so fortunate were struggling.

        • Geoffro

          Yeah,good luck to him.Rodda and Hockings probably feel like right tools given the opportunities they’ve missed out on

      • Tim

        was more implying that Trevor Hosea has had a outstanding season for the rebels and brings alot more to the table and should be on the bench. but Yes we do lack depth because people fucked off o/seas.

        • Geoffro

          I agree.I reckon this has to be Simmo’s last chance

        • Hambone

          I’ve been waiting to hear how he went against the argies for Oz A yesterday. Hope he gave it a good hit out and turned moses’ head a bit

        • Tim

          Yeah I couldn’t find a live stream or the final result :(

        • Geoffro

          19-15 Argies.Some highlights on youtube.Aussie xv didn’t look that flash

        • Greg

          Nice play by both sides I thought. Falling off some tackles by green.
          Good goal kicking by pink!

          and great to see one of the ladies on one touch line.

        • Brumby Runner

          Looked the better side in the first half I thought but lost a lot of structure when replacements came on in the second half. Not surprising, given quite a few non-squaddies came into the 30 for the game.

        • Geoffro

          Where did you get the full game ?

        • Brumby Runner

          Pick of the Aussie forwards. Very busy and broke the line a bit and off loaded to supports. Extra strong in the lineout and effective in rolling mauls. Good all round performance. Very well supported by Cadeyrn Neville in the other locking spot. Neither would look out of place in the Wallabies side and would add a whole lot more physicality than one or two who are in the test team.

        • Hambone

          Love a bit more punch off the pine from the tall timbers in the final 20-30 that’s for sure. Bob just ain’t providing

  • Too Little Too Late

    Maybe I’m a bit too optimistic and after 17 years off false dawns I should feel that we don’t have a chance, and the midfield looks short on experience. But..

    We can match it with the Kiwi’s in the the tight, our outside backs are just as dynamic and we are playing at home.

    It’s been a shit year globally and to see the Wallabies with a shot at the Bled with a couple of games to come at home is probably the highlight of this awful year.

    Win or lose I’m hoping our boys put up the sort of performance that makes us proud and keeps rugby front and centre in the eyes of the public. It’s been great to see rugby on the back pages of the paper and not in the gossip columns.

    A win tomorrow wipes away the Folua debate, the captains letter, the shunting of the CEO, the NZ / Aus comp for next year and all the other rubbish that has surrounded rugby for the last few years. It just puts the game back to where it should be . The Wallabies are the Aussie footy team.

    Hope we beat the Kiwis in a tight one, both teams give everything they have and we have a live decider in Brisbane.

    Thanks to the Kiwi and Argie teams for coming on over and giving us some top level footy at home.

  • Interesting point about BB in your AB keys to victory.

    I don’t know who here watches Squidge Rugby, but in his analysis of Bled II he pointed out that in Bled I whenever Mo’unga committed to the run DMac was basically in a classical fullback position. Nothing normally wrong with that of course. In Bled II when the same thing happened, BB was typically in the first receiver position, so the ABs always had an assured play maker there, and a normal structure to their backs (but potentially no fullback if there was a turn over).

    They obviously used him at other times too, off set piece or in called plays or whatever, but I thought it was an interesting little insight into part of why their attack seemed to zip a little better. There was rarely that ‘reset’ phase if Mo’unga ran with the ball, because BB was there to keep the next phase fast, well directed and full width.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan. Pretty happy with that hahahaha I think there’s a risk of putting too much emphasis on Clark and that could hurt. Yeah he played well, and probably will again but there’s a couple of others out there who are pretty good too. Biggest risk for me is the defence of Smith and Mo’unga in close. Neither are big defenders and that is something that could be taken advantage of.

    Good luck today

    • Nutta

      And to you Cob.

      • Greg

        There is a report of a NQ Cowboys player doing the Smith defence in a Qantas club. Suspect more to follow.

        • Nutta

          Outstanding. Exactly what we need.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Go the Mungo boys. Trying to emulate rugby is a credit to them. Even if it was a sheep rooter they were trying to copy.

  • Greg

    Just saw Mr O’Keefe is the ref. That always adds something of the unknown!

    • Mart

      yeah look to the Wallabies to get a lead and then penalties galore bring the all blacks back..

  • Mart

    I was feeling mildly optimistic then i saw the Ref

  • Greg

    Well…… what were the good points…..

    – Defence held up better I thought
    – lineout was generally good
    – scrum generally good

    – we just threw the ball away for the whole of the first half.
    – we did not have our back three in position for those kicks.

    and Mr O’Keefe…. I don’t try and follow his decisions. It just works better that way.

    Honestly, small changes will make a big difference but we need to do all of them in the same game.

    Keep going boys.

    • sambo6

      “Defence held up better I thought”

      You must have had very, very low expectations for how the defence would hold up…..


Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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