By Mike Colman of the Courier Mail

How 'bout thet bro, eh? A Bledisloe Cup test at Suncorp just a few days away and not a black beanie or silver fern eyeball tattoo in sight.

On Tuesday the All Blacks held a press conference at their Brisbane hotel which was so laid back even the pot plants were nodding off.

It's a far cry from the golden days of transtasman rugby rivalry when the lobby of the AB's Brisbane digs was always jammed skid-lid to jandal with Kiwis hoping for a glimpse of one their heroes slipping out for a quick bowl of toheroa soup.

Advertisement

And they were just as notable by their absence in the city itself.

Where were the awed hordes of black-singlet-wearing visitors wandering along Queen St Mall gazing up open-mouthed at the four-storey skyscrapers?

Where were the Taranaki truckies and Kakanui cattlemen camping out near King Wally's statue in the hope of getting a good seat on Saturday night, even though their tickets are pre-booked?

And where were the South Island tour groups splashing around in their gumboots saying what nice weather we're having?

Sitting back home getting ready to watch the game on TV I wouldn't mind betting - just like their Aussie counterparts.

Now admittedly it hasn't exactly been a red-letter year for Australian rugby, and the monotony of the All Blacks' world domination is fast becoming sport's version of a Meryl Streep Oscar nomination, but that's no reason to give up on the Wallabies.

Especially in Brisbane.

It should be a source of great pride to Queenslanders that the Wallabies have regularly lost to the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium by smaller margins that they have lost to them at other grounds around the world.

Sometimes we've even nearly won.

Who can forget Australia 16-New Zealand 9 in 1996? Unfortunately, that was the halftime score and the Blecks won 32-25 but it was close for a while.

There were four-point losses in 2006 and 2008 and just the one point in 2014.

And of course October 20, 2012, that magical night when we drew 18-18 and prime minister Julia Gillard said those immortal words, "any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum".

Which brings us to Saturday night.

We're playing on our lucky ground, the AB's are almost definitely going to be without concussed superstar first-five Beauden Barrett and, with nine losses from our past 10 encounters, we're due.

Plus, judging from Tuesday's media conference, the Blecks are quaking in their boots.

OK, that's a lie, but if ever I've seen a team ready for a whoopin', they're it.

They say you should never change your routine, and the AB's have thrown their usual pre-match procedure out the window.

Not once in the 40 minutes or so that assistant coach Ian Foster and locks Sam Cane and Scott Barrett fronted a small group of barely conscious reporters was there so much as a mention of a hidden microphone, and as for any claims of the team being poisoned at breakfast, forget about it.

Instead, all we got from Foster was that Beauden Barrett is "a but duzzy" and will be monitored over the next few days (coach-speak for Buckley's) and from Cane and Barrett the standard All Black line about setting individual and team goals and striving for excellence (like we didn't know they do that already).

In fact, the best line of the day was when Cane said, "Seven days is an amazing time in test rugby. It can do wonders for teams and it can also be a curse."

Which I reckon, given some of the weeks Australian rugby has had this season, means we're specials.