All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen views the Wallabies’ arrogant comments in the media as a sign of disrespect.
The Reds’ triumph in Super Rugby and the recent hammering of a second-string Springbok side has done wonders for the Wallabies’ confidence. Coach Robbie Deans has come out saying that he believes this young side are world beaters, while fullback Kurtley Beale has said that on the day the Wallabies can tear any team apart.
Perhaps the confidence and media bragging is premature. While the Super Rugby trophy has been won for the first time since 2004, not much has been achieved by the Test side. They haven’t won the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, or the Tri-Nations since 2001. They haven’t won at Saturday’s venue, Eden Park, in 25 years, and haven’t won in New Zealand in a decade.
Hansen said the comments from some of the Australians in the media have surprised him.
‘Australians aren’t in awe of us; they probably don’t even respect us,’ he told stuff.co.nz. ‘You only have to read what they have got to say.’
Prop Ben Franks said earlier in the week that the Aussies’ wild celebrations after tries and victories during the Super Rugby competition had not been forgotten. While this arrogant attitude is something that clearly irks the All Blacks players and management, Hansen said it won’t disrupt their preparations for a must-win game.
‘We have our own motivation, we don’t need anyone else to motivate us. The black jersey motivates us and has done for centuries and will continue to do so because it’s such an important jersey.’
He added that it was important to extend the All Blacks’ winning streak at Eden Park, especially since the World Cup semi-finals and final will be staged at this ground.
‘Auckland is obviously the home here in New Zealand where most of the big games are played because of the size of the venue. So the importance of those matches are usually right up there. Wanting to stay tight and a fortress for the want of a better term is pretty important.
‘That’s where they are going to play the World Cup final. We want to be in it and we want to win it. So it’s important.’