An Australian sports editor who put a cut-out "voodoo doll" of All Black Sonny Bill Williams in the paper for readers says the star is the "perfect villain".

The Daily Telegraph included the cut-out of former league player, who left Sydney club Canterbury Bulldogs under controversial circumstances to play rugby, as well as stories carrying the headlines "Dubious tactics and cheating claims prove Kiwis fear Pocock" and "Wallabies versus All Blacks has produced 122 years of animosity".

The paper's sports editor Ben English told Radio New Zealand the ribbing of Kiwis and the All Blacks "gives us great amusement".

"It's to cheer everyone up here. There's a lot of ordinary things happening here in Australia at the moment, the carbon tax has come in. This is a feel-good for all the kids at home, they can get their pins out, they can cut out the doll. It just cheers the whole community up."


Mr English agreed Williams was the "man you love to hate".

"Ever since he walked out of the NRL club, he's always had a dubious reputation here. And now that's been sealed now he's put the black jumper on.

"He's the perfect villain."

A story in the paper by reporter Iain Payten accuses the All Black management of "dubious tactics".

"For 10 years the All Blacks have laughed off accusations Richie McCaw is a cheat and told critics to get new material," the story read.

"Yesterday, however, the Kiwis tore a page from the very same cheat sheet by urging semi-final Craig Joubert to crack down on McCaw's influential Wallaby rival David Pocock.

"The stunning call from All Blacks forwards coach Steve Hansen came as the New Zealand camp also dismissed accusations of sneakiness and poor sportsmanship for bringing in elite players outside their World Cup squad to train with them."

The Telegraph's baiting of the All Blacks doesn't end there, with an attempt at a humorous depiction of the "All Blacks' bunker" ahead of the Wallabies clash.


The Sydney Morning Herald believes the Wallabies defence will see them triumph on Sunday, with a "Great Wall of Wallabies" across Eden Park as their sports sections' lead image.

Reporter Greg Growden said the side's defensive effort against the Springboks in their quarter final win gave them the confidence to shut out the All Blacks attacking backline.

"In four of their past seven Tests they have succeeded in keeping their opponent tryless - South Africa twice, Italy and Ireland - while the All Blacks also know how difficult it is to get past them, relying on two second-half tries in Brisbane to be a late threat before the Wallabies secured the Tri Nations trophy."

The Australian sports section carries the headline "Kiwis urged to pray like it's 1987 as World Cup semi-final approaches".

"The front page of the New Zealand Herald yesterday depicted a dejected Richie McCaw atop the headline 'Broken and doomed'," Wayne Smith's story read.

"The juxtaposition of image and headline was more than a little unfortunate because what was broken and doomed was in fact not the All Blacks captain but the MV Rena, disintegrating on a Bay of Plenty reef.


"That's in no way to trivialise New Zealand's worst marine environmental disaster, but such is the mindset of Kiwis at the end of a year of unrelenting tragedy, from the Pike River mine deaths to the devastation of Christchurch, an economy under siege and now a stricken vessel leaking hundreds of tonnes of fuel oil, that many would have read the headline and immediately linked it to the Rugby World Cup."