Wallabies captain Hooper dreaming of Bledisloe Cup success

19 August, 2017, 08:18 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Brodie Retallick was amongst the big names being put through their paces at the Sydney Oval

But rush defence comes with risk and the rebuilding Wallabies could leave gaps to be exploited if not consistently accurate, allowing their bid to lift the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002 to unravel at the first hurdle.

New Zealand's security consultant Adrian Gard is facing a charge of making a false statement to police, pleading not guilty.

The record low Bledisloe attendance for ANZ Stadium is 65,238 that endured last year's demoralising 42-8 loss for the Wallabies, while the average crowd since the reconfiguration of the Olympic venue in 2001 is 76,219.

"We reviewed that (Lions) series comprehensively, and the management have done a lot on it as well", All Blacks skipper Kieran Read said. I said I got all flustered and left OK. "I am too busy working on my own thing".

"He basically approached, they started following each other - then the odd cheeky message came from Smith".

I know how hungry the Wallabies are going to be.

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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has backed Aaron Smith to be at his best on Saturday night, despite the halfback's sex scandal erupting once again.

That inability to put away the Lions raised doubts whether the All Blacks' era of dominance was on the wane after they were shocked by Ireland 40-29 in Chicago last November.

That should set them up nicely for the rest of the competition and with their next two fixtures against Argentina and South Africa both at home - in New Plymouth and Albany - they should be sitting pretty at the top of the standings ahead of the corresponding fixtures in those countries in the final two rounds.

The Smith controversy has also intruded into the All Blacks' match preparation.

"I'm also sorry to my teammates, the NZRU and the New Zealand fans".

"The way they had portrayed me was being as an absolute ho - a woman that had targeted this guy at the airport and forced myself on him and I'd acted in such a way that they didn't even want their players around me anymore", she said.

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"Obviously the incident happened previous year".

"There's nothing more that I can add to that but if there is anything else that needs to be spoken about, it will come from the New Zealand Rugby Union themselves".

The issues swirling about the All Blacks might help decrease pressure on the Wallabies at a time of turmoil in Australian rugby.

The Wallabies are pledging to play running rugby in pursuit of a boilover to restore battered pride in the gold jersey after a season from hell for the game in Australia.

The former National Rugby League star, who played 57 games for the Bulldogs and Cowboys, has been picked on the wing in what will be a memorable debut against the world No 1 team.

The All Blacks team announcement, which could have concentrated on a reorganized back three and the dropping of veteran flanker Jerome Kaino, instead was overshadowed by Smith and bugging.

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