Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

All Blacks: Suitcases filled with frustration

The Wallabies remain a transtasman doormat, packed off home with suitcases laden with exasperation about their setpiece and the injustices of their latest Bledisloe Cup failure.

They have two months to find solutions before the Dunedin rematch with the All Blacks, who have made a strong start in defence of their Rugby Championship crown.

Next up are the Pumas, who could not hold their halftime lead and fell to the Boks in Mendoza. It was a massive turnaround in fortune from the embarrassment of their initial 73-13 loss in Soweto.

As a spectacle, it was a tough, grinding watch compared with that on show at the Cake Tin. That had troughs and peaks too, but the endeavour was several ranges higher than in Argentina.

Five-eighths Tom Taylor had a strong All Black debut, showing his scope of talent and eventual radar after duck-hooking his opening shot and missing a couple of other tough attempts.

While he and the All Blacks had their plan and delivered it, the Wallabies had more variety in their game but still made too many mistakes.

"Our error rate made it difficult to sustain the pressure," coach Ewen Mckenzie said.

He was mystified Stephen Moore was not awarded an early try, and equally confused how Kieran Read avoided a yellow card then, and Ma'a Nonu one later for a shoulder charge.

The former test prop was also baffled about scrum penalties when his side was in reverse crumple mode after the interval.

"I used to be able to work it out," he said. "But I can't tell you what's a penalty and what isn't. Honestly, I have no idea and I used to play in the front row. I am lost."

As the scrum disintegrated, so did the lineout, and only an Israel Folau intercept made the match look close.

- NZ Herald

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