Wallabies playmaker Matt To’omua says Australia will capitalize on “youth ignorance” after plans to fight two trans Tasman bouts at their Auckland cemetery.
In response to New Zealand’s new border adjustments, the All Blacks will now be holding back-to-back tests on August 7th and 14th at Eden Park – where they have won 20 in a row against Australia.
No current Wallabies team member was alive when the Wallabies last won a Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park in 1986.
The series was originally supposed to start in Auckland, head to Perth for the second test, and end at Sky Stadium in Wellington, where the Wallabies played 16-16 against New Zealand last year.
Difficulties entering New Zealand have made it necessary to take two tests to start the series, which means the All Blacks could complete the Bledisloe before the series arrives in Australia.
The third and only Australian Bledisloe Cup Test in the three-game series has been postponed for a week and will now take place on August 28 at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
The 43-strong Wallabies squad that landed in New Zealand consists of just five players over 30, including 31-year-old To’omua.
The utility back, who lost five times in his 57-Test career at Eden Park, believes the Wallabies list’s young age profile could be an asset as they attempt to become one of the longest running hoodoos in the world bust.
“One of the good things about this group is that they’re a fairly new group, so these scars may not go that deep,” To’omua said.
“At the same time, I don’t think anyone would go there naively. It’s a place the All Blacks love to play and they play very well.
“We have the ignorance of youth, which in some ways is a great advantage for us. We work on our own piece and belief and stuff.
“Ultimately, that’s what you have to do. You can’t read too much into the plot or the narrative.
“As an athlete you have to concentrate on your jobs.”
Prop James Slipper has experienced a lot of pain during his long career at Eden Park and he would do nothing more than break through for a win.
“People made it a hoodoo stadium for us,” said Slipper.
“I’ve had some bad losses there.
“I’ve had the motivation to win there for over 10 years. I couldn’t think of anything better than winning at Eden Park.
“I’m not going to sit here and say we’re going to do this game. Hopefully after the game I’ll come out and say it. “
New Zealand rugby boss Mark Robinson denied that Eden Park was chosen because of the wallabies’ miserable record there.
An existing booking for a craft beer festival at the Sky Stadium on August 14th meant that NZR should have played on Sunday if they wanted to play in the capital.
Robinson confirmed that the All Blacks’ two rugby championship games against Argentina will be played in Australia, but NZR is still hoping to bring South Africa to New Zealand later in the season.
BLEDISLOE CUP SCHEDULE
August 7th – Eden Park, Auckland
August 14 – Eden Park, Auckland *
August 28 – Optus Stadium, Perth *
* Also part of the rugby championship with Argentina, South Africa
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