The Wallabies have lost their last 12 matches against the All Blacks at Eden Park but coach Robbie Deans says it means nothing in the context of the World Cup.
The local media reminded Deans of the Wallabies record at Eden Park, where they last won in 1986, and where they also lost to Ireland in the Pool Stages of this World Cup.
Deans was unfazed: ‘It’s the first occasion we’ve played them in a semi final of a World Cup at Eden Park, so there’s no history,’ said Deans. There were also New Zealand reminders that the All Blacks had never beaten the Wallabies in the World Cup, having lost to them in the 1991 semi-final in Dublin and 2003 semi-final in Sydney.
Deans, a former All Black fullback and assistant All Blacks coach in the 2003 World Cup, won five championships with the Crusaders before being rejected as All Blacks coach in 2008.
He applied for the All Blacks job after Graham Henry’s side lost in the World Cup quarter-finals against France in 2007. The New Zealand Rugby Union opted to retain Henry and Deans took up the Australian job. In the four years the two have met 14 times with the All Blacks winning 11 times.
Significantly the first win was in Sydney the first time the two teams met under the respective coaches, after which Henry won 10 in succession. The Wallabies then won in injury time in Hong Kong, lost at Eden Park and won the most recent Test in Brisbane to claim the Tri Nations title.
Both match 22′s will only be named later in the week and the only injury concern among the Australians is fullback Kurtley Beale. He was described as having a 50 percent chance of playing after being injured in the 11-9 quarter-final win against South Africa.