Bledisloe Cup 2016: The magic the Wallabies need to overcome the All Blacks at Eden Park
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble ...
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
With thanks to that great English fullback from Stratford-on-Avon, Willie Waggle-dagger, the question before all of us in the Australian rugby community is just what needs to be put in the Wallabies' magic brew to break the Eden Park voodoo on Saturday night.
I thought you'd never ask!
First, let us throw in some Mintie wrappers, and Phantom comic books, as we invoke the spirit of the late Wallabies manager Ross Turnbull and his famous words on the morning of the Third Test at Eden Park in 1978. After asking the backs to leave the room, he got stuck into the forwards, the hard men, such as Greg Cornelsen, "Buddha" Handy, Gary Pearse and the great Garrick Fay.
"Look," Turnbull began, nodding dismissively to the door that the backs had just retreated behind, "these Phantom comic-swappers and Minties-eaters, these blond-headed flyweights are one thing, and we will need them after the hard work's done. But the real stuff's got to be done right here by you blokes." And so it was!
Next we throw in a bit of Greg Cornelsen's beard, and a smidge of his cauliflower ears. For on that day, no-one stood taller than Cornelsen, as he went on to score four tries in a famous 30-16 victory. Our blokes will be needing precisely that spirit on Saturday night.
And now let us add some of Andrew Slack's toothpaste. The captain of the Wallabies in 1986 – the last time victory was achieved at Eden Park – part of his theme to his players was to enjoy it, to smile, to love every moment of it, to let out the passion within. Slack was the yin to Alan Jones's yang, and Jones's magnificent Churchillian speeches to the lot of them on that same day, to go above and beyond, was also instrumental in the great victory, so we can add some of Jonesy's spittle, which – while not as easy to get as his bile – is still not in short supply.
Campo is in town as we speak, and no one did more than him to beat the All Blacks in the World Cup semi in Dublin 1991, most particularly including his iconic pass to Tim Horan, the double-loop-no-look-reverse-off-the-left-shoulder-going-right-up-the-Windsor-Road-from-Baulkham-Hills-and-how's-your-mother pass that completely baffled the New Zealand defence. Campo, some sweat off your fevered brow should do the trick.
And George Gregan, we will need the right shoulder-pad with which you hit All Blacks winger Jeff Wilson into the middle of the following week, in that extraordinary tackle to save the Test for the Wallabies at the Sydney Football Stadium in August 1994.
John Eales, obviously we will be wanting your kicking boots, particularly the one you used to slot the winning goal against the All Blacks in Wellington in 2000, from 45 metres out, into a howling gale.
And you, Toutai Kefu, throw in the right sleeve of your jersey you were wearing when, with seconds on the clock at Homebush in 2001, no fewer than 15 All Blacks hit you amidships 22 metres out, together with all their reserves, and they all jumped all over you, only for you to somehow reach the ball out from the bottom of the ruck and with your Inspector Gadget right hand plant it between the posts for a great victory.
So many fabulous memories, so little time to go through them – and so long since we've had some great ones to add to them.
But, with this brew we can do it. Now, to stir the pot?
I'll do that myself.
"The All Blacks are over-rated blow-hards and the Wallabies are princes among men who on the way up and overdue for a FABULOUS VICTORY!" There, I've said it.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Go you good things.