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All Blacks’ ‘one man show,’ Wallabies ‘not a million miles away’

All Blacks’ ‘one man show,’ Wallabies ‘not a million miles away’

Richie Mo’unga was hailed as the difference maker in a groundbreaking performance as New Zealand media reacted to the All Blacks’ 33-25 victory in the Bledisloe Cup opener on Saturday night.

Mo’unga was preferred in the No.10 jersey to Beauden Barrett after sharing the tasks of the Pasifika series and was instrumental in addition to scoring a dazzling interception try and beating young Wallabies rival Noah Lolesio .

“As he’s been doing for the Crusaders all season, Richie Mo’unga dug deep into his bag of tricks to turn the Bledisloe Cup first test and push the All Blacks into an attackable position,” Gregor wrote. Paul in the New Zealand Herald.

“It was clunk, clunk, clunk for 50 minutes and then, with little warning, the All Blacks were suddenly in fifth gear, punching big holes as they fled from the depths and crushing the Wallabies all over the field.

“And the spark for this incredible transformation came from Mo’unga. It’s been his special thing all year – finding a way to produce a brilliant moment that changes the shape and direction of the game.

“Time and time again he saved the Crusaders with something brilliant, but this was the first time he had the same effect at Test level.

Paul said the game got stuck before Mo’unga opened it.

“It was a game that was going nowhere after 50 minutes and needed a hero to free it from the tyranny of mediocrity,” Paul wrote.

“Mo’unga was at times the only beacon of light in a twisty, error-strewn test that had more penalties than successful passes and a choppy fragility about it until the No.10 All Blacks flipped that switch. magic and make it all flow and stay long enough to get the victory on the line.

Liam Napier, writing in the NZ Herald, said the All Blacks don’t have to get out of third gear to firmly regain the Bledisloe Cup.

“Being a Wallabies fan must be daunting, especially when it comes to Eden Park,” Napier wrote. “From an Australian perspective, this is where Eternal Hope is cremated, time and time again.”

But he felt the All Blacks needed to improve their game a notch or two.

“After three Tests in July, the All Blacks have selected their lead team for the first time this season and it is clear that these combinations are far from gel. The attack was at times far too sideways, struggling for a click other than a few bursts from Rieko Ioane from the left edge. Napier wrote.

Marc Hinton, writing for, described the game as “a bit of two-beat, rough at the start, wrong at the end, but had a high-quality four-try track in the middle that ultimately delivered the whole thing.” -significant victory.

“The Wallabies looked well out of beat for much of the game, but they will take a lot in their lightning end,” Hinton wrote.

Noah Lolesio’s first five missed shots on goal were costly in the end, but fullback Tom Banks, winger Andrew Kellaway and still spirited skipper Michael Hooper led a pretty promising effort.

“They’re not a million miles from a serial upgrade screen.”

(Photo by Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

David Long, writing for, said the decision between Mo’unga or Barrett at No.10 “is a decision that divides the nation, just like the one between Andrew Mehrtens and Carlos Spencer.”

“When Ian Foster was asked on Thursday why he picked Mo’unga over Barrett as a starter for Bledisloe I, the All Blacks coach bluntly replied, ‘We just think he’s good for this game.
“Well, Foster was right, even though he chose not to be very articulate with his words,” Long wrote.

He complained about the level of play in the first half because “the Wallabies couldn’t win a line-up and the All Blacks couldn’t keep the ball.

“Blame it on the rust of both teams, the wind or the nerves, but it wasn’t the kind of rugby to justify more than $ 200 for a decent ticket.

“The All Blacks didn’t play well, but the Wallabies were worse, and it would be worrying for Foster to see how they got caught twice in the first half by the Wallabies lineups.

“Whoever decided to change things with the Wallabies roster is a genius. After losing their first three, they caught the All Blacks taking two naps just before the break, first with a short up front, then a long distance throw in the back, which resulted in a try from winger Andrew Kellaway.

“But the second half was a Mo’unga masterclass, as next weekend probably will be too.”

Paul was not convinced that next Saturday’s game at the same venue was a done deal.

“The All Blacks can’t afford to finish or start over as badly as they did again,” he wrote.

“The lack of fluidity and cohesion in the first half was alarming. The All Blacks entered the first test of the Bledisloe Cup last year cold – without having had a game behind them, which could serve as an excuse for their rust.

“But this year they had the Pasifika series, three games, two of which were solid workouts, to generate some kind of structure and base that they could work from.

“There was little evidence of that, although in the first 50 minutes it was close to the impossible to watch.

“Mo’unga saved them this week, but the All Blacks have to be more than a one-man show.”

All Blacks coach Ian Foster gave the Wallabies credit for pushing the All Blacks to the limit.

“It’s the first test in a Bledisloe, and they were always going to be a huge test. They came here very well prepared and got us started, ”said Foster.

“The way we came back and got really tight was nice, and we were doing really well at 33-8. Then it was disappointing… we are very proud of the way we finish and we did not finish very well.

“There are things we’re going to take away and work on that people will be talking about all week. But in the end it’s 1-0, and we’ll start next week with a nice list of things to improve.

“[The Wallabies] are a good young team, playing with a lot of passion and they will take a lot of confidence from the way they finished this game and we will take a lot of confidence from the result. I guess both sides will go out and figure things out.

“It was a big learning curve for us. You talk about their young full-backs and their young midfielders, but David [Havili] played his first big test in midfield and he will learn a lot from that too. There is a bit of growth in both camps right now.




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