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Wallabies take note: How to beat the All Blacks

Sekope Kepu is tackled by Rieko Ioane during game 1 of the Bledisloe Cup at ANZ Stadium in Sydney
Sekope Kepu is tackled by Rieko Ioane during game 1 of the Bledisloe Cup at ANZ Stadium in Sydney DEAN LEWINS

WHAT the Springboks and the Lions have done this season is show that the All Blacks are beatable when you back your own distinctive style and squeeze everything from it.

The British and Irish Lions led the way in July with that rousing 24-21 upset in Wellington when they did what many thought impossible ... keep the Kiwis tryless.

On Sunday, the Boks came oh-so-close in Cape Town by doing it their way.

The Boks went back to their DNA with a physically imposing challenge and cut out needless handling and set-piece errors.

 

Sonny Bill Williams congratulates Ben Smith after scoring
Sonny Bill Williams congratulates Ben Smith after scoring DEAN LEWINS

Forwards Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lood de Jager and Franco Mostert all stand taller than former heavyweight boxing giant Wladimir Klitschko and hammered away with body shots.

Between them, they ran 40 times, direct and with purpose, to tenderise the All Blacks defence up the middle.

It was backed up by just four handling errors and harassing defence.

The All Blacks-Springboks Test was a classic and it had an extra ingredient.

South African Malcolm Marx had one of the finest of Tests with four forced penalties for his Pocock-like work over the ball, set up a try, scored another and ran over All Blacks.

 

Ben Smith finds a break to run on and score against the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium in August.
Ben Smith finds a break to run on and score against the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium in August. DEAN LEWINS

All that and he's a hooker.

He was even better as a losing man-of-the-match than Kurtley Beale was in Dunedin six weeks ago when the Wallabies did everything but win in a 35-29 miss.

The big takeaway from the Boks' huge bounce back is that the Wallabies have to back what they are good at to topple the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday week.

That is working precise set plays like the Michael Hooper inside ball to Reece Hodge for the Will Genia try in Mendoza when there was a neat little roll-out from a maul.

 

Henry Speight is tackled by Damian McKenzie and Joe Moody
Henry Speight is tackled by Damian McKenzie and Joe Moody DEAN LEWINS

Boks halfback Ross Cronje scored after an 18-phase raid in Cape Town and that is the same sort of sustained pressure the Wallabies crack teams with at their best.

The gold defence must improve again to knock the flow out of the All Blacks because Marika Koroibete can't drift off an All Blacks centre and let him cut inside for a try.

There are also enough Wallabies hovering on seven-out-of-10 form to bring a blinder to Suncorp Stadium.

Beale, Genia, Israel Folau, Koroibete, Sean McMahon, rookie Jack Dempsey, with another 15-run game, or Adam Coleman ... the firepower is there.

Now for the mindset. Somehow the Wallabies have to imagine they've just conceded 50 points, think everyone is sneering at them and then they will play like cornered animals again.

Topics:  all blacks bledisloe cup sportopinion wallabies

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