Wallabies guru on hoodoo alert - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies guru on hoodoo alert

By David Beniuk 16/07/2009 06:47:40 AM Comments (0)

The Wallabies have arrived in Auckland only too aware of the hoodoo that has haunted Australian teams in the city.

They have just four wins in 22 attempts, none in 23 years, while New Zealand are undefeated there since 1994.

Australia's wins in Auckland came in 1949, 1955, 1978 and - the last one - 1986.

"We're all well aware of the history," coach Robbie Deans told reporters on arrival on Wednesday.

"If we're not, we get reminded of it.

"It's fine. These blokes have an opportunity in their time (to change it)."

The same opportunity existed last year after Deans belied the hype of coaching against his country for the first time and guided his new charges to a memorable 34-19 victory over the All Blacks in Sydney.

But Australia couldn't defeat New Zealand again in three attempts - in Auckland, Brisbane and Hong Kong - and the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup for a sixth straight year.

Two of those losses were narrow but not Eden Park, where Australia were totally outplayed and went down 39-10.

That night they were strangled by a pinpoint Dan Carter kicking game and the champion No.10's absence through injury this year, as well as some indifferent All Black form against France and Italy, have some suggesting the hoodoo is about to be broken.

Deans, though, is bracing the Wallabies for a massive lift in intensity from the home side.

"We always respect the All Blacks and there's always a lot of discussion and comment and so forth around form leading in," he said.

"It's not relevant, the only thing that matters is what happens on the day and they'll turn out on the day, there's no doubt."

And that, says Deans, will give him a good idea of how far his side have come since suffering their most recent Eden Park scars.

"We believe (we have progressed) but we've got a Test coming on the weekend where we'll get a great insight or indicator as to how substantial that's been," he said.

The Wallabies will train at Auckland Grammar School on Thursday in similar condition to those expected on Saturday night - cool with possible showers.

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