Bledisloe Cup: Safety fears for Wallabies if they beat All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland this weekend

The Wallabies will have to keep their wits about them if they achieve the unthinkable and beat the All Blacks at Eden Park amid concerns it could trigger an ugly reaction across the Tasman.

It has been 34 years since the All Blacks lost to Australia at Auckland’s notoriously hostile cauldron but the Kiwis are suddenly under intense pressure to maintain their winning streak after drawing 16-16 with the Wallabies in the opening Test in Wellington last weekend.

That stalemate happened against the backdrop of relations between the Australian and New Zealand rugby boards sinking to an all-time low after months of public bickering so emotions are running high.

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Is the fearsome All Blacks aura fading?Source:Getty Images


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Wallaby legend David Campese has already lobbed a verbal grenade over the ditch by claiming the All Blacks have “lost their aura” while even the Kiwi media have turned on the home team – with one commentator describing the current New Zealand side as “lambs in wolf’s clothing.”

With a near-capacity crowd of 47,000 expected for Sunday’s second clash, no-one is sure how the Kiwis will react if they lose though history suggests they won’t take it well.

Australia’s rugby union, rugby league and cricket teams have all been subjected to ugly abuse at Eden Park over the past decades with Wallaby players and team staff pelted with a water bottle and heckled by rabid New Zealand supporters as recently as last year.

And that was after the All Blacks won 36-0 and the crowd was supposedly happy!

The New Zealand cops will provide the Australians with police escorts to and from their Auckland hotel to the stadium and the players are already bracing for a nasty backlash on the field.

Nic White says the Wallabies are primed to fire at Eden Park.Source:Getty Images

But Wallaby halfback Nic White, whose previous Tests at Eden Park all ended in heavy losses after the Wallabies went there full of confidence, says it wouldn’t matter where the match was being played.

“I’ve been there a few times after a couple of wins and a draw and I think that’s got as much to do with the reaction of their group as where we’re playing,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s going to matter where we play them this week, there’s going to be a reaction from them.

“The All Blacks have always reacted after a draw or a loss or a performance that they don’t think was very well but we’re talking about our reaction this week.”

More than most, White has learnt the hard way what the price for poking the bear can be whenever the Wallabies have gone to Eden Park with the wind in their sails.

Rugby league, rugby union, cricket … the Kiwis don’t like to lose on home soil.Source:News Limited

In 2014, he was part of the Wallabies side that drew with the All Blacks in Sydney only to lose 50-12 in Auckland. The next year, the Wallabies won in Sydney but were thrashed at Eden Park a week later, costing White his spot in the Australian team for the 2015 World Cup.

It took him four years to get his place back.

In 2019, he was in the Australian team that hammered the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth only to get thumped 36-0 seven days later, but White says there’s one major difference with the Wallabies team that drew last weekend.

“We know a lot of the comms will be around what they’re going to bring but we’re going to make this week about us and what we’re going to bring,” he said.

“For one, we’re pretty disappointed with what happened in Wellington so I think that’s a different reaction right there.

Wallabies must build momentum

Rugby: Expert Rod Kafer says the Wallabies need to build on their momentum against the All Blacks, and must continue to improve if they want to win in New Zealand.

“We’ve got a lot of areas that we’ve already seen where we can really fix the detail within the way we want to play the game.

“We were pretty gutted in the sheds afterwards knowing that game was there for the taking and we didn’t take it.”

Originally published asSafety fears for Wallabies if unthinkable happens

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