The Wallabies were wading the Tasman before the All Blacks concluded their victory haka in the aftermath of a 36 – 0 sledging in Eden Park that not only affected the confidence levels of the current Wallabies, but also those of the next several generations.
The loss in Perth had the customary worriers out in force. Steve Hansen making a left turn on a deserted road without using his turn indicator is enough to do that in a place where national pride and national identity hinges on football success.
The world round, everyone is always looking for any hint, stretched though said hint may be, that New Zealand are on the verge of collapse.
Had they beaten Australia 36 – 6 in the Bledisloe Cup decider, it would have been, “Australia are poised to regain the mantle that they misplaced following their Rugby World Cup victory in 2015.”
Hansen expressed understanding and acceptance for that crowd, quoted by reporters saying, “Everyone externally was starting to get a bit shaky, starting to question whether the coaches still had it, whether the players still had it. The external group of our nation can now breathe slightly easier and we can all carry on working away to what we’re trying to work to.”
Hansen is calling time on his All Blacks coaching career following next month’s 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
That leads into our favourite topic, code hopping.
We are not suggesting a stint in the NRL, or anything of that sort.
Such would not be true code hopping, but if players can do it, why not coaches?
Let us send Hansen to the U.S., hand him the head coaching job of the NFL’s New York Jets, and see how quickly he can make Valentine Holmes the first import to find true success as a gridiron player at one of the skilled positions.
The All Blacks seem poised and properly prepared for their World Cup opener with South Africa’s Springboks.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has the All Blacks quoted as $2.25 favourites, while South Africa is on the second line at $5.