That day the All Blacks nullified their opponents on the ground with ease; McCaw and Reid dishing out the damage in the loose forwards. Israel Dagg and Corey Jane produced the necessary fireworks on attack and fly half Aaron Cruden overshadowed the much hyped Quade Cooper.
The young Wallaby's poor display from 10 provoked delighted jeers from the crowd with every mistake made that night and there is no doubt that the nature of the comprehensive defeat (by 20 points to 6) will have hurt the Wallabies.
Although Australia had suffered a surprise defeat to Ireland in the pool stages of that competition, they had beaten the All Blacks in Brisbane only a month before, as they clinched the 2011 Tri Nations trophy and no doubt will have had real hopes of a repeat performance.
The Players' Thoughts
"It stings," Australian utility back Ashley Cooper said of the painful defeat back on 16th October. "But we have a new focus now and that's the Bledisloe... Australia hasn't held the Bledisloe Cup for more than a decade now and that in itself is enough motivation to play the number one team in the world."
While the Wallabies will be eyeing revenge, the All Blacks will be looking to keep their foot on the Australians' throat. As the number one team in the IRB rankings and current world champions, NZ won't want to suffer a fate similar to the last two World Champions (SA and England), who struggled in the immediate aftermath of their triumphs.
|Kieran Reid looking to overpower the Wallabies up front in Bledisloe showdown.|
Number eight in the All Blacks' starting line-up this week-end, Kieran Reid, who sadly missed the final rounds of this year's Super 15 due to a rib injury, has a tough battle on his hands with in form Queenslander Scott Higginbotham, but has highlighted where he believes New Zealand can target Australia; the tight five.
"You play against Australia and that's the area you want to target them. We want to play our kind of game, which is all about starting with the forward pack and setting the standard there. The Aussies are very smart in what they do (though). You can't just turn up and expect to go with them. It's always hard to really dominate them, especially over there. They'll try to play with the ball a lot more and try to stretch you. It's a quick game as well so you prepare accordingly."
History on New Zealand's side
The All Blacks have won 12 of their last 14 matches against the Wallabies and considering the form of both nations franchises in this year's Super 15 (the Australian franchises largely struggled), it looks ominous. The All Blacks also come into the competition with a fresh injection of youth which has invigorated a slightly ageing side.
Young stars such as Aaron Cruden, Luke Romano, Brodie Retallick and Julian Savea will all have an impact on this tournament for sure, but in this match, don't expect to look much further than captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. The two have an incredible record together against the Wallabies, and that trend looks to continue on Saturday.
|Australia need a big performance from David Pocock on the ground to get Australia in a position to win.|
For Australia, Wallaby fans will look to David Pocock to inspire them to victory in the same manner in which he almost single-handedly dismantled the Springboks in the 2011 RWC quarter final. It's a tall order, but the Aussies have a history of upsetting the odds.
The Australian's have some serious dangermen out wide in Digby Ione and Kurtley Beale, while scrumhalf Will Genia can punish the smallest of mistakes, as Piri Weepu found out to his detriment in the Bledisloe Cup last year. The selection of Barnes at 10 though, with Anthony Fainga'a alongside him will not scare Steve Hansen's All Blacks.While Australia may have been able to beat Wales 3-0 in the June Series this year, one suspects that the All Black forwards will slowly get a grip of the match, following a bright start for Robbie Deans' men on home turf. Sydney does not hold the same fears for this group of All Blacks as it once did. The only query will be how well centres Sonny Bill Williams and Ma'a Nonu combine, in the absence of the injured Conrad Smith. All Blacks by 5.
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Drew Mitchell.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (capt), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith.
Date: Saturday, August 18
Kick-off: 20:05 (11:05 BST, 10:05 GMT)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Alain Rolland (IRFU)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (WRU), Lourens Van Der Merwe (SARU)
TMO: Matt Goddard (ARU)
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