Australia v New Zealand, Bledisloe Cup, Hong Kong, October 30
Deans predicts All Blacks karma
September 29, 2010
Robbie Deans is hoping the All Blacks get caught out © Getty Images
Australia coach Robbie Deans has warned the All Blacks that their habit of pushing the laws to the limit will eventually come back to bite them.
The Wallabies will try to end their 10-game losing streak against their Bledisloe Cup rivals in Hong Kong next month after suffering a further three defeats in the recent Tri-Nations series.
Australia came closest to ending the horror run in Sydney but the All Blacks came from behind to win 23-22, helped by a try to captain Richie McCaw after he pulled off the back of an attacking scrum early to receive the ball in acres of space out wide.
Deans was clearly irritated by the incident after the match, but the New Zealand-born coach, not one to make outlandish statements, described it as a "clever" ploy.
While there is no doubt the All Blacks were deserving winners of the Tri Nations tournament, Australia and South Africa also became increasingly frustrated with New Zealand's apparent willingness to concede penalties in their own half so as to stop the opposition from scoring tries.
Despite finishing on the wrong end of the penalty count in all six matches, New Zealand had one player yellow carded in the entire tournament while the Wallabies and Springboks each had four players sin-binned.
Deans appears to have little option but to hope the All Blacks eventually get found out and he provocatively declared karma would catch up with the world's number one ranked team.
"They make good decisions at critical moments and they get away with things as well through their cunning," Deans said. "But I personally believe that some of their cynicism won't serve them well in the long run. They're an experienced bunch, they've had great continuity which we haven't had but I think that will serve us well and I don't think that will serve them well, because they have some points of vulnerability."
Deans is confident his young side are slowly closing the gap one year out from the World Cup - on All Blacks' turf.
"It's very evident that the All Blacks remain the benchmark," he said. "I guess from a coaching perspective you chase progression, we're getting progression, there's areas of frustration but we believe we're making headway. There's a step to take but I think we showed in Sydney, despite a pretty horrific itinerary, that it's actually achievable.
"And in an ironic way it may actually serve us well having come up short. If we'd got up and this young group had thought they were somewhere where they're not then that wouldn't have served us well."
The Wallabies face the All Blacks on October 30 before heading to the northern hemisphere for Tests against Wales, England, Italy and France.
And with only five Tests against Samoa, New Zealand (twice) and South Africa (twice) scheduled in between the Super Rugby season and the start of the World Cup next September, Deans says its imperative the five Australian franchises perform in 2011.
"At the end of this year the players will go back into Super 15 and personally I think Super 15 will serve us well because we'll come into the tournament well conditioned to the game," he said. "Critically we need them to succeed at franchise level, and I think we'll see that."
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