Ex-Wallaby ready for hoodoo-busting win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ex-Wallaby ready for hoodoo-busting win

By Jim Morton 05/08/2011 03:06:57 PM Comments (0)

The last Wallabies captain to win at Eden Park believes Robbie Deans young guns have the confidence and skill to break a 25-year drought at New Zealand's rugby bastion.

Andrew Slack, who led Australia to a series-clinching 22-9 victory in Auckland in 1986, feels the Eden Park jinx is "slightly irrelevant" and Deans' men are mentally strong enough to pull off an upset.

"I think they're very much in the mix," 39-Test centre Slack told AAP.

"There's clearly a confidence about the Wallabies team and they believe in themselves which is the first thing you have to be able to do.

"I think their skill level is very high, a number of backs have proven themselves to be world class and, equally importantly, they have developed a hardness about themselves - they're getting tougher mentally.

"There's not a struck match between the sides in many areas - the All Blacks are a bit more experienced than us but does it necessarily give them an advantage?"

Nine of the Wallabies starting 15 weren't even born when Slack lifted the Bledisloe Cup in a triumph he rated more meritorious than Australia's historic grand slam clean-sweep two years earlier in Britain.

Nick Farr-Jones, who played in the 1986 encounter and succeeded Slack as captain to lead the Wallabies to their 1991 World Cup success, is less confident but tips a thrilling encounter.

While Slack expects the improving Wallabies scrum to limit the potential damage up front, Farr-Jones is worried about the All Black pack's capacity to shake the Australian foundations and deny exciting halves Will Genia and Quade Cooper clean ball.

"I don't think our scrum is up to it yet," he told Radio Sport NZ on Friday. "You have to get the job done in the deep, dark places - you've got to be able to set the platform.

"If you don't get the platform right, you can't play with time and space."

Saturday night's clash is seen as a major World Cup yardstick and Farr-Jones felt a hoodoo-busting win at New Zealand's fortress, ending the All Blacks 22-match unbeaten streak at Eden Park dating back to 1994, would provide a massive psychological boost.

With the trans-Tasman rivals playing off again in the Tri-Nations finale on August 27, Slack said only a horrible performance by either team would create internal World Cup concerns.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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