World reacts to Wallabies boilover
The Wallabies claimed a famous Test victory over the All Blacks in the 100th match between the two countries as the men in gold ran riot in Perth.
It was a record night for the Aussies who sounded a World Cup warning by defeating their fiercest rivals 47-26. It's the most points Australia has ever scored in one game against New Zealand and equalled the record for the biggest winning margin over the Kiwis.
But the Wallabies' path to Bledisloe Cup glory is a difficult one with the All Blacks' insane Eden Park record a huge stumbling block as the teams prepare to square off at the iconic Auckland venue next weekend.
Here are the talking points from the first Bledisloe Cup match.
Plenty of Aussie fans were excited by what they saw with some even predicting a charge all the way to World Cup glory on the back of the brilliant performance in the West Australian capital.
Post match, a subdued Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said "all we did was book a ticket to Auckland".
"It's a great atmosphere and great for the players to get the win but in the bigger scheme of things that's what we've got ourselves - a ticket to go there and take the opportunity that we're going to get given there."
Cheika said the fact that they faced an undermanned All Blacks didn't take any gloss off the win.
"Not a chance," he said. "When they've got 15 on the field it feels like 20 so when they've got 14 it still feels like 17 or 18 as they have so many threats. It's not like they weren't scoring tries."
Haven’t seen the Wallabies play like this for a v long time. Just awesome. Nick White outstanding, reminded me of Nick Farr-Jones. Long road to #RWC2019 but tonight we just showed that we have the squad to be respected in Japan. https://t.co/zQUtgzhh1t— Tim Ayliffe (@TimJAyliffe) August 10, 2019
The Wallabies are going to win the World Cup, you love to see it— Nick Campton (@campo37) August 10, 2019
Amazing win. Best performance by the Wallabies in a long time. https://t.co/mrBVQvSl5H— Matt Eaton (@Matt8Eaton) August 10, 2019
Hands up if you picked the Wallabies to outscore GWS, Essendon and North Melbourne this week...— Shayne Hope 📰 (@shayne_hope) August 10, 2019
Guess what? The Wallabies BULLIED the All Blacks, imposed their game plan on the Kiwis and outworked them in key areas. This was the best team the ABs could put out. Seriously good signs for Australia 2 games out from #RWC2019 #AUSvNZ— Jamie Pandaram (@JamiePandaram) August 10, 2019
Huge win for the Wallabies. Been a tumultuous 12 months for all concerned - very pleased for some very fine people in and around the team.— Ian McCullough (@IanMac08) August 10, 2019
A really entertaining game. Great performance by the Wallabies. Lots of impressive individual performances as well. Congratulations to Michael Cheika and his coaching team. As @nickmcardlefox says... Plenty to like about that! 👊🏼— Louise Ransome (@LouRansomeFOX) August 10, 2019
WALLABIES FACE 33-YEAR GRAVEYARD
The Wallabies' new style shone in its biggest test as they roared to a record-setting points tally.
While it's just the second win for the Wallabies over the All Blacks in their past 11 matches, the result is massive for the Aussies as they hunt their first Bledisloe Cup victory in 17 years.
But claiming the trophy at Eden Park will be no small feat.
It's been 18 games dating back to 1986 since Australia last won at Eden Park, while the All Blacks' last loss at the ground came against France in 1994.
Another performance like the one on Saturday night in Perth will be required if Australia wants to win back the Bledisloe Cup in enemy territory.
The victory in Perth equals the Wallabies' biggest winning margin over the All Blacks, with the 21-point tally matching a 28-7 win in Sydney in 1999.
Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper had a massive performance and praised his side for the famous win.
"I'm very proud of the build up, I'm very proud of the building we've been talking about and it has turned into a good result tonight," Hooper said. "It's a little confidence and momentum (boost) for us tonight."
All Blacks skipper Kieran Read said the All Blacks' discipline let the world champions down.
"They were very good tonight and we knew that was going to be the case," he said. "We've got one chance, it's a do or die game and both teams are going to be up for it. We'll get back to Auckland and look forward to that one."
While it was a strong match for the Wallabies, the All Blacks faithful were quick to remind Australia of its record across the ditch.
So the All Blacks may have lost to Australia, but remember we are the country who once might have had this as our flag. So we’re all good.— Melanie Homer (@melhomer) August 10, 2019
And next week at Eden Park will be MIGHTY. #backblack pic.twitter.com/ujazJnKnt5
Eden Park will be horror viewing for Australia, NZ will get their revenge— John Hunt (@JohnHunt1992) August 10, 2019
Eden Park is going to be juuuuuuuuuicy.— Scotty Stevenson (@sumostevenson) August 10, 2019
Wallabies in with a huge chance next week at Eden Park if we can play against 14 All Blacks again #Bledsoecup— Rod McGuinness (@rod3000) August 10, 2019
REFEREE'S 'MASSIVE CALL'
All Blacks star Scott Barrett was sent off just on halftime for a shoulder charge on Hooper.
French referee Jerome Garces decided Barrett made contact with Hooper's head and neck and the All Blacks were forced to play the entire second half with 14 men.
In the new rugby regulations, contact with the head and neck is an automatic red card.
It was just the second red card in Australia-New Zealand rugby history, and the fourth in All Blacks history.
Garces was the referee who sent the last All Blacks player off when Sonny Bill Williams was punted in 2017. He's also set to referee the All Blacks' first World Cup match against South Africa.
"Teams know that any contact to the head is a direct red card," Gordon Bray said on Channel 10.
"That's a massive call," former Wallaby Rod Kafer said on Fox Sports. "It changes the game. Yes penalty, yes yellow card but the referees have come down hard in a World Cup year."
Ex-Aussie hooker Phil Kearns added: "It's not often I have sympathy for an All Black and yeah I know the rules but is that really a send-off offence?"
Kafer said it was a "no-brainer".
"Under the law, the way it gets refereed, it is a red card. He's not that kind of player but in the heat of battle, I can tell you, when you want to put a shot on, you want to hit a bloke," he said.
Christian Lealiifano kicked the resulting penalty goal to make it 16-12 and the Wallabies went on with the win in the second half.
The world was split on the call. The New Zealand Herald's Patrick McKendry said the game will "live long in the memory for probably the wrong reasons" on the back of the red card.
Can’t agree. All those words but no look at circumstance. Action was at knee height. Feel for Scott Barrett there #AUSvNZ— Jim Tucker (@HulaBulaJim) August 10, 2019
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen didn't want to blame the red card for his side's loss, saying it simply wasn't good enough as it missed too many tackles, particularly in the first half.
"It's not the team you want to play 14 against," Hansen said. "They play a similar style of footy to us. At the end of the day, both teams were absolutely knackered out on their feet. All credit to Australia, I'm still proud of the way our guys played with 14 men.
"Lots can change in seven days, we've just got to get our game going and playing with more confidence."
LOMU-ESQUE AUSSIE LEADS CHARGE
Australia's Marika Koroibete channelled one of the All Blacks' most identifiable players with a rollicking run to set up the victory.
Koroibete rampaged just inside the touchline, looking like Jonah Lomu as he bumped off Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett before passing to halfback Nic White to score the Wallabies' third try.
It was a stunning sight to see and another positive sign for the Wallabies.
With the returning James O'Connor setting up tries in his first starting appearance for the Wallabies in six years, it was a mighty impressive performance from the centres.
It was a brilliant night for O'Connor, setting up the first try with a perfectly timed pass to put Reece Hodge through a gap for the first try.
The 29-year-old was awe-struck post match, soaking up the incredible atmosphere.
"What a special moment, for me to do it where it first started in Perth, where I was at my most powerful, 60,000 people, the whole town was behind us," he said.
"I want to play that second link, we've got so many exciting outside backs and even our loose forwards can carry and beat guys one-on-one so my game is just connecting those guys and letting them do what they do.
"Tonight for me was me and the rugby, no other distractions, just enjoying the game."
REPORTS OF RUGBY'S DEATH EXAGGERATED
It was the first match between the Wallabies and All Blacks at Optus Stadium and Perth's fans were out in force.
In an indication of the appetite for rugby between the great rivals, the crowd was pumping. The 61,241 spectators is a record for Perth's new stadium.
Perth has become a happy hunting ground for the Wallabies with six wins and a draw in their last seven matches in the city.
What a #BledisloeCup match. Laws executed correctly with Scott Barrett sent from the park and @qantaswallabies showing tremendous application v @AllBlacks Looking fwd to hearing if @SkySportsRugby @SFitzpatrick92 @LynaghMichael @JamesGemmellTV @WillGreenwood agree?— Scott Hastings (@ScottHastings13) August 10, 2019
The love-hate relationship between the All Blacks and French refs continues, and there will be three of them in Japan...— Derek Alberts (@derekalberts1) August 10, 2019