Glorious action and noble risks won the day for Wallabies, now let’s see it again
Oh get a grip, people my people. Of course we are not going to win the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday night.
The Wallabies ran all over the All Blacks in Perth.Credit:AAP
Not against the All Blacks!
Not at Eden Park.
Not when their backs are against the wall.
Not right before a World Cup.
But stranger things have happened! Ever mindful of my strange powers as the Kiss of Death, of course I don’t predict it. But win, lose or draw there are a couple of things that need to be said.
Firstly and most importantly, whatever happens, serious congratulations are in order to everyone involved in last Saturday night’s victory. First up, you selectors, led by the newly installed Scott Johnson. Wow! Somehow, after years of misfires, you really did put together a Wallabies XV where the sum of the parts was greater than the whole. You picked forwards that could more than hold their own in the scrums and win their own lineouts – two things unseen in recent years – while also capable of wreaking devastation in the tight play. You picked backs with hands so slick and feet so swift they were mesmerising maestros of mayhem. Long did you labour, but, yes, at last you came up with the combination that cracked the safe hold the All Blacks had on the Bledisloe.
Equal congrats to coach Michael Cheika who has been under enormous pressure, and never more than the last year or so. Despite all the slings and arrows, Michael, you kept the show on the road, kept the Wallabies working hard and came up with a game plan and side that played the best and most enthralling rugby seen in Australia since … since the Waratahs won the Super Rugby comp in 2014, a side also coached by you. Rolling thunder in the forwards, greased lightning in the backs, the wind in their hair … the whole thing came together to create a perfect storm of rugby.
And most of all, congrats to you Wallabies.
The way you played!
The most fabulous thing of all was how you never backed off, but just kept going at them. And most impressive was how, when they were so presumptuous as to occasionally fight their fate and attempt their own attacking raids you cut them down like aging stalks of wheat, with scything ankle-high tackles.
You Wallabies will live long, you will go far, but you will all be doing very well indeed if you ever live an evening more resonant of Sir Walter Scott’s famous observation: "One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honour or observation."
Such glorious action you showed us, such noble risks, you took. And they all paid off.
Given the way you played and the stupendous result, it would be like anyone's damn hide to offer too much in the way of advice so I will content myself with one observation only.
The only time you ever seemed vulnerable was when you kicked the ball to the All Blacks to give them easy possession. At all other times the brutes had to look up to see wave after wave of enormous men in gold jerseys crashing on their shores, which saw them inevitably recede. I have no clue what the game plan is for Saturday night but, hopefully, it will see precisely the same line-up, playing precisely the same kind of game.
Good luck, we are all with you!
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