For long suffering Wallabies fans the Sunday afternoon Bledisloe Cup has provided a little ray of sunshine. It’s been 18 long years since the Wallabies have returned the much prized silverware that is the Bledisloe Cup to Australian Shores. But their performance yesterday in Wellington has given reason for fans to cheer.
The game came right down to the wire with Fullback Reece Hodge narrowly missing a penalty goal from over halfway that sailed half the length of the pitch only to fall agonisingly short and hit the cross bars to fall back into the field of play. It was new coach Dave Rennie’s first match with the team and despite the 16-16 final score, the Wallabies matched their more fancied opponents from the very start.
It was the first international game to take place since COVID-19 restrictions took place earlier in the year, and the game certainly lived up to the hype. It was an exhilarating match and it has set up an exciting game in Wellington next week. Australia now need to win two of the next three matches to pinch the Bledisloe Cup out of New Zealand’s firm grip for the first time since 2003.
The action on the field was only matched by the scenes in the sheds after the game. The AllBlacks invited their counterparts into their dressing rooms to celebrate Captain Michael Hoopers 100th game with the Wallabies. The heartwarming scenes were a reminder of all the good things about sports as two fierce rivals put aside any hostilities to share a beer together in the spirit of the game.