Flat-earthers and deniers of human-induced climate change are now joined by those who thought that the Wallabies actually had a snowball’s chance of beating the All Blacks in Dunedin in game two of Bledisloe Cup play.
Granted, there was a nervous moment or two, but the 35 – 29 victory by the All Blacks that secured the 2017 Bledisloe Cup was never in doubt for the faithful, even if it was a try in the 79th minute by Beauden Barrett that decided the eventual outcome.
That is not to say that we had written off the Aussies before the match had even begun. Well, okay, we admit that we had done just that by saying that the Wallabies would need to resort to recruiting able-bodied Kiwis at the public loos at the Auckland airport in order to have any decent prospects.
There was one point where the ABs faced a 17-point deficit. The Aussies forced the sort of errors seldom seen from a Kiwi rugby team and they showed every indication on not accepting their inevitable fate without a massive effort. The indoor venue of Forsyth Barr Stadium was apparently to their liking.
The ABs also caused some of their own trouble. They gave up more than a few unforced errors in the first half that led to a seesaw battle with the lead changing hands five times. They turned the ball over 17 times, conceded five tries and were missing tackles with alarming frequency.
The Wallabies showed their usual acuity for self-inflicted wounds as well. Kicker Bernard Foley was off-target, missing three conversions and a penalty on some kicks from a handy position.
It would seem that the ABs were not firing at the same level as they had the week prior, when they laid 56 points on the Wallabies in just over half a game.
Still, this time next year, all anyone will recall is the final line, which featured the ABs drinking big beer from the giant cup named Bledisloe.