All Blacks' glass is really half full
What did you think of the first Bledisloe match?
Bledisloe Cup: What did you think of the test?
I would like to suggest that despite the disappointment of (once again) seeing the Wallabies wreck the All Blacks' attempt to establish a record number of consecutive victories at tier one level, there are actually quite a few positives to be taken out of tonight's match in Sydney.
With a drawn game, the prospect of the All Blacks retaining the Bledisloe Cup is marginally improved. So many of the Wallabies players said pre-match that to wrest possession of the cup from the All Blacks they had to win - they didn't and now have to win at Eden Park to keep their hopes alive.
Knowing the Wallabies, they will crow about how improved they are after this result, and to be fair, compared to some of the calamitous performances from the men in yellow in recent years there has been a degree of improvement.
But I would put that in context. In Sydney the Wallabies had pretty much every thing in their favour: home advantage, a referee who was just a bit generous to the home team at times (gifting them a man advantage for a quarter of the game), the Aussie confidence levels at a relative high and an All Blacks team not quite firing on all cylinders. Not to mention the last minute disruption caused by Conrad Smith's late withdrawal from the team.
Despite all that the Wallabies failed to get the win which I'm sure they felt they would get.
So where does this leave the All Blacks? There is no doubt they will need to up their game for the next match, and this is where I feel the positive really kicks in.
I feel the Wallabies gave it their best shot on Saturday. I cannot see them doing any better than they did. By the same token however, I'm sure most will agree the All Blacks are capable of much better and will show that by retaining the Bledisloe cup at Eden Park.
A draw no doubt pleased neither side, indeed the happiest team at this outcome will be the Springboks. But everything is still there to play for and the All Blacks are still in a good position to retain both the Bledisloe and the Rugby Championship title.
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