The Wallabies were slammed from pillar to post after they crumbled against the All Blacks at Eden Park on Sunday.
A promising start quickly gave way to a one-sided onslaught as the All Blacks ran riot to claim a 27-7 victory and 1-0 lead in the fight for the Bledisloe Cup, after a draw in the first Test last week.
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Severe backlash flooded in for the Wallabies over their lack of defensive intensity as they missed far too many tackles throughout the contest.
A whopping total of 40 missed tackles plagued the Wallabies. The number worked out to be 27.5 per cent of their total tackle attempts.
Criticism came in thick and fast during the game as fans vented about the Wallabies’ work without the ball.
But the most brutal assessment was passed on by Wallabies legend Matt Burke.
“I was just talking about this to a bloke down at the coffee shop and he goes, ‘We coach under-10 girls and we teach them to tackle, not to try and smash the c**p out of them’,” Burke said on the Big Sports Breakfast.
“You know sometimes you just have to make a passive tackle to stop the man and stop the ball.
“And they tried to put these enormous shots on which just missed every time. (Wallabies coach) Dave Rennie spoke about it afterwards and he was ruthless in the selection from last weekend and I think he will be again.
“There’ll be a couple of nervous guys there who’ll say, ‘We didn’t really hold ourselves in good stead’.
“It’s New Zealand bouncing back, it’s Eden Park, but I don’t think they gave themselves a good showing on Sunday.”
It wasn’t a great day at Eden Park for the Wallabies.Source:Getty Images
It wasn’t just poor tackling that drew the ire of Burke, with the Wallabies’ turnovers also coming under the microscope.
“Our blokes didn’t have enough patience yesterday. It’s like starting an innings in a (cricket) Test match, you can’t just blaze away,” Burke said.
“You can’t just go from the start, it’s a process to work your way through and our guys just didn’t have the respect of the ball.
“They turn it over and they (All Blacks) go. And they tend to score the easiest tries, where as our guys were going through phase after phase, battering ram and only just getting over the line.
“And if they got over the line they got held up. They gave themselves a six out of 10 in Wellington, that was a five or a four yesterday and you just can’t miss that many tackles, that’s what it comes down to.
“There decision making was off and the tackling was off.”
Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper could do nothing but lament the countless missed opportunities after the loss.
“As New Zealand do they make us pay on turnovers and we weren’t able to scramble and get out of that,” Hooper said.
“New Zealand shifted the ball around well. They caught us on the hop there … they were better this week, they raised the bar and got ahead of us.
“We’re building. A bit of a hit to the confidence there today, but we’ll go again.”
If the Wallabies are hopeful of claiming the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002, they’ll need to defeat the All Blacks in the remaining two Tests on home soil.
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