The Wallabies have come under fire for their pitiful defensive performance during Sunday afternoon’s loss to the All Blacks in Auckland.
After last weekend’s enthralling draw in Wellington, New Zealand secured a comfortable 27-7 victory in front of 46,049 spectators at Eden Park.
Although the All Blacks were undeniably the strongest side on the field, the Wallabies buried themselves with sloppy missed tackles and gifting soft tries.
Australia missed 40 tackles in the one-sided contest, with New Zealand guilty of 23. The Wallabies missed 27.5 per cent of their tackle attempts compared to 13.8 per cent for the All Blacks.
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Despite several handling errors in the opening 40 minutes, the Wallabies trailed by just three points at halftime.
But the All Blacks mustered a trio of tries in a 15-minute blitz after the interval to put the result beyond doubt, each five-pointer originating from an unforced error or missed tackle.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper lamented the missed tackle count after the match.
“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.”
ABC News presenter Karina Carvalho bluntly tweeted: “Too many missed tackles and turnovers by the Wallabies. A poor second half.”
Canberra Times journalist Caden Helmers posted: “Wallabies were in strife early, missing an alarming amount of tackles.”
Fox Sports commentator Greg Clark tweeted: “Mistakes were very costly for Wallabies… and you can never afford them at Eden Park.”
Wallabies 20 turnovers, 40 missed tackles. That’s gonna get you.
— iainpayten (@iainpayten) October 18, 2020
Here’s an idea @wallabies, if you’re going to kick the ball down the throat of the All Blacks, at least have an attempt to tackle the bloke you kick it to.
— Chris Coleman (@CJCau) October 18, 2020
Despite the 20-point margin, All Blacks coach Ian Foster conceded: “This is the best Wallabies team I’ve seen for a while.”
Eden Park remains an impenetrable fortress for New Zealand — the All Blacks have not lost a Test match at the intimidating venue in 26 years.
The Wallabies will now need to refine their defensive play if they have any chance of winning both Rugby Championship matches against New Zealand to reclaim the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.
Originally published as ‘Shocker’: Abysmal Wallabies slaughtered