Tuesday 22 May 2018

Michael Lynagh 'angry' at embarrassing Australia and accuses Wallabies of having 'non-existent' skills

Former player Michael Lynagh speaks in a press conference during a British and Irish Lions tour sponsor announcement at London Zoo on April 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Former player Michael Lynagh speaks in a press conference during a British and Irish Lions tour sponsor announcement at London Zoo on April 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

Jack de Menezes

Michael Lynagh angrily hit out at the Australia side following their abject first-half performance in the 54-34 defeat by New Zealand, in which they shipped 40 points before the break in what was a record score for the All Blacks.

The reigning world champions, who drew the recent series with the British and Irish Lions 1-1, scored six tries before half-time, with both Reiko Ioane and Ryan Crotty dotting down twice along with Liam Squire and the returning Sonny Bill Williams – back from his four-game ban for his shoulder charge on Anthony Watson six weeks ago.

The Wallabies had just two Bernard Foley penalties to show for their efforts, meaning they trailed by an enormous 34 points at the break, the most in their history of facing the All Blacks, and although it would get better in the second half as Michael Cheika’s side scored four tries in the second-half, former Australia fly-half Lynagh cut loose on the side.

"I can't overestimate how angry I am at seeing an Australian team who have skills that are non-existent,” he said as part of Sky Sports’ broadcast of the Rugby Championship opener.

New Wallabies captain Michael Hooper tried to play down the devastating result, which was completed by further tries for full-back Damian McKenzie and wing Ben Smith, and he instead wanted to gloss over the poor start to focus on Australia’s results.

Curtis Rona, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau all scored for the home side, with Foley converting all four to maintain a 100 per cent record from the tee, but it proved too little, too late as the Wallabies suffered a 20-point defeat in Sydney.

“It is not the start we would have hoped for,” said Hooper. “Being 50 points behind, you start to throw everything we had, I'm so happy with that.”

However, despite witnessing his side score the most points they’ve ever achieved against their Antipodean rivals – and banish memories of the disappointing draw against the Lions with an emphatic response – Kieran Read admitted that the 28-14 second-half scoreline was not a pleasing one for the All Blacks.

“I think in the second half we let frustration strangle us a little bit,” All Blacks captain Read said.

“We just needed to dump that and get back to playing some simple footy.

“We showed in the first half we really just let the ball do the work — nothing special but it just worked for us. I think the first half was good and we were okay in patches of the second half but we conceded 34 points which means most days of the week you're going to be losing test matches. But you can't fault that first half. It was bloody fantastic.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Wallabies as they face a return match against the All Blacks at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium next weekend, and Read was keen to enjoy the win before turning his attention to the second Bledisloe Cup encounter.

“The Wallabies were certainly going to come out firing in that second half. They did and we just took our foot off the throat a bit,” Read added. “We'll take the positives and there's obviously things to learn from. It's not often you come here and put 50 points on the Wallabies.”

(© Independent News Service)

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