Wallabies slammed for 'avalanche of mistakes'

Sydney (AFP) –


The Wallabies buried themselves in an "avalanche of mistakes", Australian media commentators lamented Monday after their team again failed to snap a decades-long hoodoo at New Zealand's Eden Park.

Australia's inability to win at the Auckland stadium stretched to a 34th year after being outplayed by a rampaging All Blacks 27-7 on Sunday.

They were punished for a poor defensive performance, guilty of too many handling errors, conceding a raft of turnovers and missing a whopping 40 tackles to New Zealand's 23.

"The Wallabies buried themselves in an avalanche of their own mistakes," said the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The attitude was there but the execution was badly awry at Eden Park... It was hard to keep count of the errors but three second-half mistakes in close succession were damaging."

They included Marika Koroibete failing to get the ball down in the corner, Brandon Paenga-Amosa's double movement that cost them a try and Jordan Petaia's carelessness that allowed Sam Cane to cross for five points.

"Pressure caused some of the mistakes, but (coach) Dave Rennie will demand more of his players upon their return to Australia. It wasn't good enough," the newspaper added.

The Australian broadsheet was equally unforgiving, headlining: "New team, same old Eden Park story."

"Australia may have had a relatively new side, but in the end it was an old and tiresome story as the Wallabies fell off tackles, struggled to make their hits and allowed the All Blacks to build that ferocious, familiar momentum," it said.

Fox Sports noted that "the Wallabies cannot be their own worst enemy. The All Blacks are a tough enough opponent already".

The win put New Zealand in the driving seat after two Bledisloe Cup games, with the first in Wellington a 16-16 thriller.

There are two more to come over the coming weeks in Australia as part of the Rugby Championship, which also includes Argentina but not world champions South Africa who pulled out due to lack of preparation.

While the critics piled in, Sydney's Daily Telegraph took a more optimistic line, saying the Wallabies "are showing the beginning of something".

"The All Blacks were unstoppable, imposing, breathtakingly brutal in their execution of counter-attack and turnover raids," it wrote.

"Australia is not capable of this level of rugby -– yet. They could be, judging by the signs.

"They have lifted their level of skill significantly; the running lines are sharper, their set-piece is slightly more reliable. And they show more fortitude."

The two arch-rivals next clash in Sydney on October 31.