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Devastated Deans Says Wallabies Lacked Ticker

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Robbie Deans
Robbie Deans

By Daniel Gilhooly of NZPA

Wellington, Sept 20 NZPA - It was the final 10 minutes that turned last night's loss to the All Blacks into a rugby nightmare for Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

It wasn't so much that two late New Zealand tries ballooned the score out to a humiliating 33-6 that riled Deans, it was more the way his players lay down that left the former Crusaders mentor questioning their heart.

A shattered Deans said his listless team "departed the contest" from the 70th minute mark after a likely attack faltered.

"At that point, when we weren't successful in scoring and the All Blacks did, we rolled over.

"We'll review everything ... clearly the last 10 was unacceptable," said Deans, whose team were criticised heavily today by Australian media.

"Obviously the All Blacks were in a circumstance where they're trying to avert history. They didn't want to be the first team to lose three (home tests in a season).

"They showed that, whereas our group, and I'm part of it, didn't show the same pride in the jersey."

The 27-point margin was the fifth biggest in 135 trans-Tasman tests and surely a career low point for Deans, who established a Super rugby dynasty in Christchurch.

His only victory in seven stoushes with All Blacks coach Graham Henry was the first, 34-19 at Sydney last year, but that giddy evening must feel like an age ago.

A shock 21-6 defeat of Tri-Nations champions South Africa in Brisbane two weeks ago also seems like a blip for Deans' men, who lacked physicality across the park last night, particularly at the breakdown.

"They (All Blacks) attacked the ball and the man in that area and they got a lot out of that," Deans said.

"We had blokes who were looking for the next job when the first job wasn't done."

The average age of the Australian starting team was less than 24, nearly four years per man younger than New Zealand.

The youngest of them all, 19-year-old fullback James O'Connor, had another All Blacks test to forget but Deans refused to use youth as an excuse.

"Age doesn't really matter, you're either up for it or you're not and we were a couple of volunteers short, consistently," he said.

"They brought the intensity and the detail two weeks ago (but) the All Blacks showed how quickly the tables can be turned if you don't deal with the realities of test rugby.

"You've got to earn your stripes in every outing and I think we possibly got a little bit ahead of ourselves."

Former Wallabies captain Nick Farr-Jones was scathing of the performance and called on Deans to take the heavy whip, both on the training field and selection table, ahead of the fourth Bledisloe Cup test in Japan on October 31.

Seasoned flanker Rocky Elsom agreed it was time for accountability.

"We've got a lot of looking inwards to do," he told NZPA.

"In some ways it's a bad thing that we don't have a game in the near future because you always like to capitalise on what you're feeling now.

"We really have to have a look at what we're doing ... it's not acceptable for us, it's never acceptable to be out-enthused like that."


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