Rugby: ANZ Stadium - The one ground the All Blacks haven't dominated

By Jamie Pandaram

Kurtley Beale, Dean Mumm and Tevita Kuridrani celebrate the Wallabies win over the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium last year. Photo / Photosport
Kurtley Beale, Dean Mumm and Tevita Kuridrani celebrate the Wallabies win over the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium last year. Photo / Photosport

The Wallabies say the All Blacks are under all the pressure for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup match as they seek to keep the world champions winless in fortress Sydney for a third straight year.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen declared the Wallabies have "problems" after arriving in Sydney on Sunday, which riled the Australians.

"From what it sounds like coming out of their camp, there's no point us turning up," Wallabies vice-captain Rob Horne said.

But Horne declared that the world champions will be weighed down by expectation.

"All the pressure is on them, they have to - they're supposed to - win," Horne said.

Even more so considering their record at ANZ Stadium is the worst of any major ground in the world over the past 15 years, with just seven wins, seven losses and a draw for a winning ratio of 47 per cent.

In that same period since 1999, the All Blacks' overall winning record is 85 per cent.

While the Kiwis have held the Bledisloe for 13 straight years and have won back-to-back World Cups, they haven't won in Sydney since 2013, with a loss and a draw in their most recent visits.

The Wallabies also took umbrage at Hansen's remarks that their players lacked recent big-game experience after their Super Rugby sides failed to make the semi-finals.

"He's probably saying that because he keeps wanting to rub it in that we're not good enough, because we're not playing finals," Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.

"They're off the back of a big season, we understand where we sit in the picture and the perception for them, I understand that.

"We just need to be worthy to be able to play in our own jersey and play the best we possibly can for Australia on Saturday night."

Cheika and Hansen have lobbed verbal grenades at each other in the past two days as preparations for the Bledisloe heats up.

This will be the first time since New Zealand defeated Australia in the World Cup final last year that the two teams have collided.

After that victory, Cheika beat Hansen for World Rugby's coach of the year award.

"I don't know why he's upset or what he's upset about, that's up to him," Cheika said.

"For us, we know how we're thought of; they think we're no chance to do anything.

"That's what they really think, our problem is that we've got nothing and we're going up against the world No.1, that's what they really think.

"I understand what he's saying, we will just be doing our best when we play them.

"I know that not many people are expecting us, as he isn't, to do much.

"When they say we've got our own problems that's what they're referring to, that we can't beat them.

"We'll just have to work on how we're going to do that.

"Not many people over there or probably here give us much of a chance, especially based on our performances against them around our [Super Rugby] teams, but we've been working hard for a few weeks to get ourselves together."

Hansen had claimed in June that England coach Eddie Jones had bullied Cheika in the media during the tourists' 3-0 series win against the Wallabies.

Cheika is certainly creating a siege mentality around his squad as they attempt to end one of the longest losing streaks in sport.

The Wallabies last held the Bledisloe Cup in 2002.

All Blacks at ANZ Stadium v Australia
Played 15
Won 7
Lost 7
Drawn 1

- news.com.au

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