Wynne Gray 's Opinion

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: Black only colour worth a bet at Eden Park tonight

12 comments

Rugby's roulette wheel is spinning again and punters should bet on black. There weren't enough signs in Sydney that the Wallabies are worth even a stray shekel or five tonight when they reappear at Eden Park.

Stick the dosh on black, and again, and again.

At some stage the Wallabies will win - crikey, they've won three out of the last 16 contests, but that doesn't look likely tonight.

They're out of sorts and were bashed in Sydney, even though the All Blacks lacked sting in the opening skirmish.

The hosts will also have felt some backlash from the coaching group reminding them that a repeat of the second-test work against Ireland or a stutter like the World Cup final is not acceptable.

Coach Steve Hansen threw up the World Cup conclusion as a reason to respect what the Wallabies would bring tonight.

France had been well beaten in pool play but were very difficult in the final.

The outcome is guesswork, which is why the TAB lures punters to use its service. The Wallabies have given themselves a chance with a changed side but the All Blacks will raise their standards, too, while the psychology swirls around both sides.

Trumpeting success is a national pastime across the Tasman and the shorter forms of the media love to ramp up and piggyback sporting achievements.

Rugby has much more prominence in Australia and in their media than it had 20 years ago but a lack of success in recent seasons and, in particular, against the All Blacks, has affected some of the coverage.

They have shelved the puerile sheep jokes and crowing they used at the height of their jingoistic 90s, and offered upturned hands as an answer to why they have been unable to crack more consistent results against the All Blacks.

The blowtorch is well alight and hovering under Robbie Deans as the xenophobic underbelly stirs some more. That was on the march after the loss to Scotland but then sheathed as the Wallabies claimed an undefeated series win against Wales. Now the mob is stirring again.

Four years of filing out through New Zealand customs without declaring a Bledisloe Cup has been an ongoing sore point. The closest they got was the 22-16 defeat at Eden Park in 2009, but the six times they've played here under Deans' command, they have lost the lot.

If you think that run will change tonight, swap your roulette colours-and leave more of your money in the Kiwi economy.

- NZ Herald

Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

NZ Herald senior rugby writer Wynne Gray has been covering the All Blacks for almost 25 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

Read more by Wynne Gray

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Oct 2014 19:15:34 Processing Time: 534ms