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If the Wallabies are any chance of bringing All Blacks vs Wallabies Live Stream down the might of New Zealand in this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup opener, Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale know deep down they need to be at their absolute attacking best.
As the pair walked through the tunnel at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, having not played a Test with each other since the 2015 World Cup final, they joked with each other, clearly buoyed by each other’s company back in a gold jersey.
While Folau was Australia’s go-to man all of last international season, Beale’s return to the fold after a stint in the UK has energised teammates; his presence infectious.
“You grow that extra leg when you know you have him beside you,” Folau said of Beale. “He brings a lot more confidence to your game and it’s exciting. Guys like KB, they don’t come around too often. You want to try and make the most of playing alongside him and he’s a special player. Everyone knows that. You give him the ball and he’s always going to create something out of nothing. Guys around him play with him and they grow.”
These are words of praise usually reserved for Folau himself; a master at creating something out of nothing and the All Blacks’ No.1 threat they will be looking to nullify. Folau, who has scored six tries in his last three Tests, will look to play off Beale, who is likely to be named at No.12 for Australia despite not having played a minute of football in three months.
It is a combination conceived at Super Rugby level for the Waratahs and one that became almost second nature for the pair. “You’re stupid if you’re not looking for Izzy,” Beale said. “He’s been incredible in the June series. He’s been on fire, so for me I don’t look to overdo it. We’ve got a good understanding of what we want from each other and we don’t think about it too much, that’s the best thing about it. It makes the job a lot easier when you’re out there on the field.”
In a year plagued by off-field dramas and shocking on-field results, rugby fans are as disillusioned as ever over the state of the game. A victory over New Zealand, who will themselves be hurting after drawing their recent series against the British and Irish Lions, has the potential to reignite passion amongst those once upon a time diehard rugby supporters who are sick and tired of Bledisloe defeat after Bledisloe defeat. “Everyone will have their opinions and thoughts outside of us as a playing group and whether or not they think we’re a chance to win or not,” Folau said. “We’re definitely confident going into the game. “We don’t think about the ll Blacks vs Wallabies Live Stream result too much. It’s irrelevant. For us it’s about coming out here and putting our best footy forward and if that’s good enough to win, then so be it. Otherwise we can’t think about the result too much otherwise you build that pressure for yourself which is not necessary.” Beale has being touted as Australian rugby’s saviour, so is he feeling the pressure just days out from the biggest Test of the year?
“Not really, mate … no nerves, just more excitement.,” Beale said. “There’s a bit of responsibility there to help these young guys come through and help them out in their preparation and in their mindset to tackle the week. We’re all wanting the one thing.
“Obviously that’s important to win back a lot of the fans but I think more importantly for ourselves as a team if we get the right result on the weekend, it’s definitely going to help us [get] the boost of confidence that we need to be able to win the Rugby Championship.”
As for his troublesome hamstring, Beale conceded there was a degree of doubt in his mind as to whether he would pull through but has full faith he can play an instrumental role on Saturday. “There’s been so much work been put into it,” Beale said. “I’ll be ready that’s for sure. It’s just a matter of making sure my recovery and preparation is right leading up to the game
These days, there isn’t a current All Black who has known life without the Bledisloe Cup.
The closest they get is that veteran flanker Jerome Kaino can remember touring with the All Blacks in 2004 and seeing for himself what having the trophy meant to the likes of Justin Marshall and Anton Oliver, who had been through the dark period of 1998 to 2002.Those older players of that period had felt the pain of seeing the Wallabies out play them.
They knew what it was like to give everything and still not be good enough to win.
Between 1998 and 2002 the Wallabies had this magical ability to conjure the miracle moment; to find a way to get to the 80th minute as winners, breaking New Zealand hearts each and every time.When the All Blacks took back possession in 2003, the emotions of those who had long-suffered, were real, raw and strong.The likes of Marshall and Oliver knew life without the Bledisloe and life with it, and didn’t need to spend a lot of time thinking about which they preferred.But this current group of All Blacks have no such pain in the system.
All they have ever known is endless victory: that the Bledisloe is tough, that the Wallabies throw a lot at them and occasionally grab a test win, but haven’t been good enough or resourceful enough to do it the necessary number of times in a season to take back the trophy.
Having experienced this pattern for so long, is there some kind of acceptance within young All Blacks minds that this is just how things are?
Repetition to this extent creates expectation and while the All Blacks take the Wallabies hugely seriously, without ever having known what it is like to lose a series, there does often feel to be some kind of slightly manufactured element to their stance.Nothing is more powerful than sampled experience and who doesn’t wonder if the best thing for the longer-term future of the Bledisloe Cup and for this emerging All Blacks side, would be for the Wallabies to defy all predictions, buck every trend and pull off a classic win in Sydney and then somehow do it all again in either Dunedin or Brisbane?Goodness knows Australian rugby needs that miracle to happen, but so too, for different reasons does New Zealand.An entire generation of Kiwis probably doesn’t believe that Australia ever held the Bledisloe Cup.That same generation must wonder why everyone talks up a rivalry that they can’t see actually exists.Selling tickets to Bledisloe tests down the track could become impossible rather than hard if there is no credible sense of fear or unpredictability around the outcome.
From an All Blacks perspective, defeat would fast-track the emotional education of a young team.
Give them exposure to genuine pain ll Blacks vs Wallabies Live Stream and with it, that deeper desire to push that bit deeper into their preparation knowing that defeat is a real rather than imagined entity.And above all else, a Wallabies series victory would restore faith in sport’s ability to surprise and to not conform to logic or sensible analysis.