Clicky

ENTERTAINMENT

All Blacks make 1 change, Australia makes 4 for 2nd test

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has made one personnel change and two positional changes to his starting lineup for the second Bledisloe Cup test, rejecting a more decisive response to his team’s sub-par performance against the Wallabies last weekend.

A slight knee injury to center Anton Lienert-Brown sees Rieko Ioane move from the left wing to center, Sevu Reece move from right wing to the left and Will Jordan join the starting lineup on the right wing.

Foster has retained the tight five and back row which under-performed in the first test, giving those players a chance to improve their performance in Saturday’s match.

If the All Blacks win Saturday, they will retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 19th straight year and increase their winning streak against the Australians at Auckland’s Eden Park to 22 matches over 35 years.

The Wallabies will be strengthened in their attempt to break those streaks by the return of several leading players.

Marikia Koroibete returns on the left wing after missing the first test while suspended for breaking team rules, and Matt To’omua will start at inside center. Matt Philip rejoins the starting lineup at lock and Lachlan Swinton at blindside flanker, pushing Harry Wilson and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto to the reserves bench.

Scrumhalf Nic White and prop Scott Sio were included on the bench.

Philip may help address the lineout problems that impeded the Wallabies in the first test, though hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa retains his spot.

Head coach Dave Rennie has retained faith in flyhalf Noah Lolesio, who kicked only two out of eight attempts last weekend, costing the Wallabies 12 points in a match decided by eight.

“To beat New Zealand, you have to win the collisions and be clinical for 80 minutes and we didn’t do that (last weekend),” Rennie said. “We’ve got a lot more in us and we’ll show that on Saturday night.”

The All Blacks posted a 33-25 win in the first Bledisloe Cup test, also at Eden Park, last weekend. After a slow and disorganized start, New Zealand scored three quick tries after halftime to lead 33-8 before conceding three tries and 17 unanswered points in the last 15 minutes.

Foster has argued the All Blacks need to make only minor changes to improve their performance, especially focusing on discipline after conceding a lop-sided penalty count.

But the problems seem to run deeper and the first test was indicative of All Blacks performances under Foster, who finished with a 2-2 record in his first season in charge last year.

New Zealand's Ardie Savea, left, congratulates teammate New Zealand's Aaron Smith afterSmith's his 100th test after their Bledisloe Cup rugby union test match against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. (Brett Phibbs/Photosport via AP)
1 of 4
New Zealand’s Ardie Savea, left, congratulates teammate New Zealand’s Aaron Smith afterSmith’s his 100th test after their Bledisloe Cup rugby union test match against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. (Brett Phibbs/Photosport via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has made one personnel change and two positional changes to his starting lineup for the second Bledisloe Cup test, rejecting a more decisive response to his team’s sub-par performance against the Wallabies last weekend.

A slight knee injury to center Anton Lienert-Brown sees Rieko Ioane move from the left wing to center, Sevu Reece move from right wing to the left and Will Jordan join the starting lineup on the right wing.

Foster has retained the tight five and back row which under-performed in the first test, giving those players a chance to improve their performance in Saturday’s match.

If the All Blacks win Saturday, they will retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 19th straight year and increase their winning streak against the Australians at Auckland’s Eden Park to 22 matches over 35 years.

The Wallabies will be strengthened in their attempt to break those streaks by the return of several leading players.

ADVERTISEMENT

Marikia Koroibete returns on the left wing after missing the first test while suspended for breaking team rules, and Matt To’omua will start at inside center. Matt Philip rejoins the starting lineup at lock and Lachlan Swinton at blindside flanker, pushing Harry Wilson and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto to the reserves bench.

Scrumhalf Nic White and prop Scott Sio were included on the bench.

Philip may help address the lineout problems that impeded the Wallabies in the first test, though hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa retains his spot.

Head coach Dave Rennie has retained faith in flyhalf Noah Lolesio, who kicked only two out of eight attempts last weekend, costing the Wallabies 12 points in a match decided by eight.

“To beat New Zealand, you have to win the collisions and be clinical for 80 minutes and we didn’t do that (last weekend),” Rennie said. “We’ve got a lot more in us and we’ll show that on Saturday night.”

The All Blacks posted a 33-25 win in the first Bledisloe Cup test, also at Eden Park, last weekend. After a slow and disorganized start, New Zealand scored three quick tries after halftime to lead 33-8 before conceding three tries and 17 unanswered points in the last 15 minutes.

Foster has argued the All Blacks need to make only minor changes to improve their performance, especially focusing on discipline after conceding a lop-sided penalty count.

But the problems seem to run deeper and the first test was indicative of All Blacks performances under Foster, who finished with a 2-2 record in his first season in charge last year.

ADVERTISEMENT

The All Blacks lacked leadership and direction in the first half, relied on opportunist tries including an 80-meter intercept by flyhalf Richie Mo’unga to build a convincing lead, then again lost direction and defensive cohesion at the end.

New Zealand counts on its bench to provide energy in the last quarter of matches but that didn’t happen last weekend and it was Australia whose bench was more dynamic.

Foster has made three changes to his bench for the coming match, recalling scrumhalf T.J. Perenara and including lock Scott Barrett, who missed the first test through illness. That means all three Barrett brothers, Scott, Beauden and Jordie, are in the reserves. Hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho again replaces Dane Coles who has a calf injury.

Prop Angus Ta’avao might be lucky to retain his place after the All Blacks scrum went backwards late in the first test.

Foster had some options for change to his starting lineup which he has rejected. Fullback Damian McKenzie’s lateral running often cramps the All Blacks backline but he has been retained, and Mo’unga’s tactical judgement again showed weakness under pressure.

Foster has stuck with a backrow which was outplayed in the first test, hoping flankers Dalton Papalii and Akira Ioane will be more active in the second tst.

“It’s been a very forward looking week,” Foster said. “We were delighted with the result last weekend and obviously had some things that we had to work on this week so that has kept us focused.

“We know that Australia will be disappointed with the result and will lift. It’s a do-or-die game for them.”

___

New Zealand: Damian McKenzie, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Sevu Reece, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ardie Savea, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, George Bower. Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Luke Jacobson; T.J. Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett.

Australia: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Hunter Paisami, Matt To’omua, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Tate McDermott; Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (captain), Lachlan Swinton, Matt Philip, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper. Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Harry Wilson, Nic White, Len Ikitau, Reece Hodge.

You may also like