Steve Hansen and Michael Cheika will go head to head on Saturday in the first Bledisloe Cup clash of this year’s Rugby Championship.
The Wallabies have home advantage with the game taking place in Sydney’s ANZ Stadium but many believe that won’t be enough for Australia to pull off an unlikely victory.
Australia, of course, is in a state of crisis in rugby terms. The poor performances of their Super Rugby sides, the controversial axing of the Western Force and the inconsistency of a talented Wallabies team has led to disinterest and apathy from the Austrian sporting public.
Nevertheless, the Trans-Tasman rivalry between these two countries always peaks interest for rugby supporters all around the world and competitiveness between the two countries is good for the game. That’s why a lot of neutral supporters will be hoping the Wallabies can put in a good performance tomorrow.
Hansen has been speaking to the media in the build-up to the opening fixture of the competition [the Springboks host Argentina on Saturday afternoon] and he likened the relationship between Australia and New Zealand to that of one between two brothers.
“Australia and New Zealand have done a lot of things together and not just play rugby and all sports,” Hansen told Planet Rugby.
“And it’s a big brother-little brother backyard game and the little brother doesn’t like losing to the big brother and the big brother certainly doesn’t like losing to the little brother. It creates a tension.
“And when the little brother appears to be winning more than he should be, you probably get a little bit hacked off about it and it does create a bit of resentment.
That “resentment” needs to be utilised by the Wallabies in a positive way and they shouldn’t need much motivation to get one over on their fiercest rivals.
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