Australia have 'no show' of stopping All Blacks - Wallabies great

All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino celebrates his try against the Wallabies. Photo / Brett Phibbs
All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino celebrates his try against the Wallabies. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Australia's greatest rugby player Mark Ella says he is in "awe" of the current All Blacks juggernaut and believes the Wallabies are "no show" of stopping the New Zealand machine from racking up a world record for successive wins in the upcoming Bledisloe Cup clash at Eden Park.

A day after English rugby writer Robert Kitson described the All Blacks as the "Usain Bolt of world rugby", Ella lavished praise on Steve Hansen's men and advised Australian coach Michael Cheika to take an experimental approach to Saturday week's match and keep a longer eye on the 2019 World Cup.

"Do we go to New Zealand and think we are going to win this test, probably not," Ella told specialist rugby show Ruggamatrix this week. "I don't think we can probably beat the Kiwis so why not mix it up and pick a backline that is a little different to what we have now.

"If Cheika believes he can win with this side, then good luck to him. I'm not going to sit there and argue with him....but I still think it probably isn't our No.

1 backline and we need to continue experimenting.

"The way the All Blacks played at Kings Park the other day was just phenomenal. I just saw that in awe. How do you score nine tries against a team like South Africa, one of the dominant teams in world rugby. They just made them look like kids. It was men against boys. I just couldn't believe what had happened."

Ella, a gifted first five who oversaw a golden period of Wallabies rugby in the 1980s and who retired too early, said Australian rugby had "gone backwards" in recent seasons and the All Blacks were ruthlessly exposing that fact.

"We've gone backwards basically. Look at Super Rugby, two or three years ago even when the Waratahs won in 2014, I was saying back then we needed to be working on our ball skills.

"All the old guys are saying the same thing. They think we're a bunch of old dickheads who don't know what we are talking about. But we can't catch and pass under pressure. What are the All Blacks doing? Catching and passing under pressure. The All Blacks are two or three levels above everybody else."

He also lauded the All Blacks' tactical nous, saying South Africa naively played into New Zealand's hands at Kings Park.

"When Morne Steyn came back, he did the job against Australia (but) the Kiwis knew exactly what was going to happen. They (South Africa) were just going to kick for territory. The All Blacks controlled the football for 14 or 15 phases, and they just had patience. They knew they were going to score. They control the football unbelievably, better than any other side in world rugby."

Ella said he admired Argentina's efforts to emulate All Blacks rugby but said the Pumas should revert to "10-man rugby" until they lifted their skill level to the same as New Zealand's.

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