All Blacks expose Wallabies’ glaring weakness
20 August, 2018, 6:43 pm
SYDNEY, 20 AUGUST 2108 (AAP) – The Wallabies will likely be without injured superstar Israel Folau when they attempt to win in Auckland for the first time in 1986 and avoid a 16th straight year of Bledisloe Cup despair.
Folau departed ANZ Stadium on crutches after suffering an ankle injury midway through the second half of Saturday night’s crushing 38-13 loss to the All Blacks in game one at ANZ Stadium.
“He’s got a pretty swollen ankle,” said Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. “Looked like he rolled it when he went up to catch so we will see after he gets a scan exactly what the diagnosis is.”
The three-times John Eales Medallist cut a dejected figure as he hobbled off, leaving young guns Jack Maddocks and Tom Banks in line to fill the champion full-back’s boots at Eden Park next Saturday.
Maddocks scored Australia’s only try on his Test debut after replacing winger Dane Haylett-Petty for the final 25 minutes.
Of even greater concern for the Wallabies than being without Folau is fixing their shaky set piece after losing seven of their eight lineouts and conceding several scrum penalties in the series opener.
“It’s an area that’s plagued the Wallabies for years now,” wrote NZ journalist Jamie Wall. “They haven’t had anyone in the calibre of the All Blacks at prop, hooker or lock lately, and it was on show like a glaring beacon as soon as the ball started being turned over at a regular rate.”
“We need to be disappointed about this result,” said skipper Michael Hooper.