Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

All Blacks: All Blacks aim for trifecta

A win against the Wallabies next week would make for a truly memorable day.

Keven Mealamu will play his 100th test in Brisbane. Photo / Getty Images
Keven Mealamu will play his 100th test in Brisbane. Photo / Getty Images

When the All Blacks meet the Wallabies next week in Brisbane they will be chasing a rare trifecta.

Victory will coincide with hooker Keven Mealamu's 100th test and will allow the All Blacks to equal the 17-test winning streak record for tier one nations they hold with the Springboks.

A triumph at Suncorp Stadium will also mean the All Blacks inflicting a century of test defeats on the Wallabies.

The sides have clashed in 145 internationals, well ahead of the 85 tests the All Blacks have had with the Springboks who have been their next most regular opponent in their 493-test history.

These sorts of records are looming as a byproduct of the All Blacks' continuing development since they began the 2011 World Cup with a win against Tonga.

They have retained the Bledisloe Cup and picked up the inaugural Rugby Championship to sit beside the other silverware and platters in the trophy cabinet.

Next up are the Wallabies, a side which has spluttered through this season as injuries and other issues have bitten into their cohesion.

They halted some woes when they fielded a huge pack to stagger past Argentina in a substandard contest in Rosario. They used usual lock Sitaleki Timani as a loose forward as a counter to the power of the Pumas.

But former Wallaby captain John Eales has warned that tactic will not be a panacea against the All Blacks next week in Brisbane and has urged coach Robbie Deans to pick a side to combat the visitors' skills.

Mobility, skill at the breakdown and high work rates were imperative if the Wallabies were to reverse their season results against the All Blacks, Eales told the Sydney Morning Herald.

He said the Wallabies lacked game breakers and players with strong layers of skills to build pressure.

The All Blacks began this season's duels with a 27-19 victory in Sydney and a week later beat the Wallabies 22-0 at Eden Park.

The Wallabies have lost several key players like David Pocock, Will Genia, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes and Sekope Kepu to injury while Quade Cooper's criticisms of the coaches has been an unnecessary distraction.

But for the All Blacks, Cory Jane and Charlie Faumuina have recovered from injury while Ali Williams has been the only member to drop out after damaging his knee.

•Lithuania hold the record with 18 consecutive test wins.


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