Deans under pressure after latest Aussie misfire
Australia's failure to regain the Bledisloe Cup from New Zealand has upped the pressure on under-fire coach Robbie Deans and raised questions as to whether he will see out his contract.
The Wallabies were humbled 22-0 by the world champions at Eden Park in Auckland, continuing their run of losses at the ground stretching back to 1986.
It was also the first time in 50 years Australia had failed to score against the All Blacks, whose defence swamped an attacking Wallabies backline capable of destroying most other teams when the mood takes them.
The All Blacks' victory ensured they retained the Bledisloe Cup for a 10th successive season and made the third match in Brisbane, which is not part of the Rugby Championship, a dead rubber before both sides embark on northern hemisphere tours.
The magnitude of the defeat was not lost on the Australian media with respected Sydney Morning Herald rugby writer Greg Growden questioning whether Deans would still be in charge when the Wallabies leave on their end of year tour.
"So there goes the Bledisloe Cup for yet another year and with it intensifies the serious doubts over whether Wallabies coach Robbie Deans will last that much longer in the position, because his long run of losses against the All Blacks is starting to be overwhelming," Growden wrote yesterday. "Making it that much more infuriating was that the Wallabies never looked as if they were ever going to break their duck.
"There were still enough glaring signs early that the divide between the teams remains considerable."
Deans' contract runs until after the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia next year, but after a 14th loss in 17 internationals against their trans-Tasman rivals with the New Zealander at the helm, the drums will be beating louder for a change.
However, he said his side had met a team showing the confidence of their World Cup triumph last year and few would have matched them.
"Let's give credit to the All Blacks performance. That was an outstanding performance," he said.
Deans added he was not worried about his own future. "Like I said, it's not about me. It's about the team and what we do," he said.
"We're at the front end of the Rugby Championship, we've played the All Blacks back-to-back, we now re-set our sights for South Africa and Argentina.
"It's the last thing on my mind right now. It's about the team and we'll pick it up and carry it on."