Wallabies hope to avoid the referee deciding Bledisloe I after 2022 hurt

James Slipper Wallabies v All Blacks 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

James Slipper Wallabies v All Blacks 2022 – PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Wallabies co-captain James Slipper has admitted that there were plenty of lessons for them as a team after last year’s heartbreaking loss to the All Blacks in their Bledisloe Cup clash in Melbourne.

That fixture took place at Marvel Stadium last September, and the All Blacks clinched a narrow 39-37 victory as they held on to the Bledisloe Cup for the 20th successive year.

Controversial ending

The match ended in controversial fashion when referee Mathieu Raynal penalised Wallaby fly-half Bernard Foley for time wasting in the game’s closing stages.

Australia were holding a three-point lead at the time, but New Zealand sealed their win courtesy of a Jordie Barrett try in the 80th minute.

“I remember it; it hurts,” said Slipper, who captained Australia in that game. “Whenever you don’t get the result, it’s always going to hurt you. In the fashion, how we blew that game makes it hurt a little bit more.

“Hopefully, we can play a game that is on our terms, and we don’t have a referee come in and decide it right at the end.

“It was a great game to be a part of, the crowd was unbelievable, and we’re expecting the same tomorrow…we won’t shy away from the fact last year was tough, but we’re a new group now.”

Front-row Slipper, who is starting on the replacements bench for this Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup encounter at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, believes Australia must be better at managing the referee and said: “I think it’s just about a bit of game smarts.”

However, he doesn’t think they will use it to motivate them and mentioned their poor form in the competition as enough motivation.

“We’re coming off two pretty disappointing results, so we’re looking back to those games to try to get better,” added Slipper.

“We know what’s in front of us and what we have to do, and we’re going to have to put in one hell of a shift to get a result, but the boys have prepared well.”

Wallabies set to use several captains

Slipper is set to be on the field as captain at the end of this Test while fellow prop Allan Alaalatoa steps in as ‘stand-in’ captain.

It will be the first time Slipper is not in the run-on side since taking over the captaincy from Michael Hooper during last year’s Rugby Championship, with Angus Bell coming in to replace him as the starting loosehead prop after the Wallabies’ loss to Argentina.

“Just a little bit of experience to close out a game,” Slipper said when asked what he feels he can bring off the bench.

“Eddie’s mentioned at the start of the year that he’s probably going to use five captains throughout the year, and that’s probably something that is not going to change with HIA and injuries coming into the game in recent history.

“Not much is going to change for me. My job around the team hasn’t changed. It’s just about now supporting the guys that start (in) Allan (Alaalatoa), Tate (McDermott), those boys who will lead us out initially. You then have the likes of myself, (Nic) Whitey, Quade (Cooper) on the bench.

“There’s a bit of age and experience as well there. Nothing really changes, just where I play.”

READ MORE: Australia v New Zealand preview: All Blacks to thrash the Wallabies and win another Rugby Championship title

The article Wallabies hope to avoid the referee deciding Bledisloe I after 2022 hurt appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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