Wallabies bracing for torrid NZ Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies bracing for torrid NZ Test

By Darren Walton 22/07/2008 01:39:55 PM Comments (0)

Rocky Elsom says there's no chance of a Wallabies hangover hindering their chances of conquering the All Blacks in Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup and Tri Nations encounter at ANZ Stadium.

The Wallabies are coming off the high of upstaging the world champion Springboks 16-9 in Perth last Saturday night, while the All Blacks will be desperate to bounce back from a painful, last-minute 30-28 loss to South Africa in their last outing in Dunedin two weeks ago.

But Elsom insists the Wallabies will have no trouble maintaining the intensity for the first of four Bledisloe Cup clashes in 2008 - and the first in Sydney since 2005.

"There definitely will be a letdown if we lose," the classy flanker said.

"I mean, we're coming here to win. So if we get let down, it will only be because we lost.

"As far as getting motivated, it's not difficult at all. You've got a Bledisloe Cup in Sydney and we've got a chance of beating the All Blacks in a Test match, so you've got everything you need right there."

While other players have tried to play it down, Elsom admitted the personal coaching duel between the Wallabies' Robbie Deans and the embattled Graham Henry, who beat Deans to the All Blacks gig, had only spiced up the usual pre-match hype for the annual trans-Tasman battle.

"That added interest with the two New Zealand coaches going at it, that has added a fair bit to it all," Elsom said.

"So the fact that we've come off a good win and it's the first time we've had a Bledisloe in Sydney for a year or so ..."

Halfback Luke Burgess, set for his first Bledisloe Cup clash, said he still rated the All Blacks as the No.1 team in international rugby - particularly under the new ELVs - despite their quarter-final exit from last year's World Cup and recent loss to South Africa.

"Through the Super 14, you could see all the New Zealand teams being excellent exponents of those rules, so I don't think it will be any different this weekend," Burgess said.

"I've always thought they had the potential to be the world's best. Just because they didn't win the World Cup doesn't mean they're not the world's best or have the world's best players.

"So I do think they're actually the best team in the world."

Burgess sensed most Wallabies felt the same way.

"We're all prepared for a massive challenge," he said.

"I think everyone (in the team) holds New Zealand in very high regard, purely because of their heritage and their tradition. They've always been fantastic.

"You can never discount the quality of a New Zealand rugby team. Just because of recent results doesn't mean anything.

"I'm expecting nothing short of a massive wave of intensity and aggression - the standard sort of features of New Zealand rugby that I've experienced over the last couple of years will be there."

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