Bledisloe Cup diary: Jack Maddocks takes us inside his Test debut for Wallabies

Alex Broun 30/08/2018
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Jack Maddocks making his Test debut against the All Blacks

Depending on how you look at it over the last fortnight, new Wallabies star Jack Maddocks has either been living a dream or a nightmare.

For any young player their dream is to play for their country and to do it in front of your friends and family – and score a try – is even better.

But when that Test debut is against the world champions All Blacks and you end up getting pumped by 40 points two Saturdays in a row – it can all be a bit of a nightmare.

Sport360 spoke to the talented 21-year-old who took us behind the scenes in the lead up to his Test debut in what was a mixture of heaven and hell all rolled into one.

Thursday August 16, Sydney: Maddocks named in 23 to take on the All Blacks

I was surprised at how quickly it all happened but in saying that I wouldn’t say I wasn’t prepared or not ready for the call-up. I felt coming in to the year there was a lot of good outside backs and I’d have to wait for my chance. So it came quicker than expected but as I said before I didn’t feel like I wasn’t ready. I was really excited by the challenge and I wanted to test myself at that level.

Saturday August 18, ANZ Stadium, Sydney: Wallabies vs All Blacks – Bledisloe 1 – Jack’s Test debut

It was pretty surreal. It was in Sydney and it was a special place to do it as I’m a boy from the city. A lot of my friends and family were there for the game. I was on the bench and I when I came on, the good thing was we were still well in the game.

Saturday August 18, ANZ Stadium: 53rd minute of the Test, Maddocks comes on to replace Dane Haylett-Petty

It wasn’t one of those moments when you run out and think ‘Here I am’, I had to get into it straight away. When I came on we had a lineout and it was on the right side so I was involved immediately and my mind was instantly on the job. It didn’t end up finishing the way I would have liked given the defeat, but still, it was an incredible atmosphere out there and something I’ve never experienced before.

Saturday August 18, ANZ Stadium: 66th minute, Maddocks marks his Test debut with a try

It was a bit of a blur to be honest. I think we turned it over (Michael Hooper took an intercept in the Wallabies 22) and I remember thinking, my immediate reaction was to get involved and get around the ball. From there, Bernard (Foley) was running down the full-back and I tried to just offer some support. Bernard dummied to Matt Toomua on the inside then shaped on the outside to me. It was probably one of the easiest tries I’ve scored but it doesn’t mean I won’t remember and cherish it.

Monday August 20, Waiheke Island, near Auckland: Wallabies training camp before Bledisloe 2 at Eden Park

We stayed on Waikheke Island for the week and it was a cool to experience a new way of building up to the game. We were quite isolated and separated from the public and the media, which helped us focus, relax and get prepared properly. We weren’t completely shielded – the players had the chance to get out and do whatever they liked – but there were less distractions.

Friday, August 24, Auckland: Wallabies re-locate to Auckland the day before the game

We got to Auckland on the Friday and I remember walking down the street and there were All Blacks flags flying high up on the street on the telegraph poles. Everywhere I looked were black jerseys. It was quite exciting seeing that and you obviously knew it was going to be a great atmosphere at the ground itself.

Saturday, August 25, Eden Park, Auckland: The Wallabies run on to the field, Maddocks is in the starting XV replacing the injured Israel Folau

I’ve heard a lot about Eden Park when it’s a full venue for a Test match and it lived up to what I was hoping. It was incredibly loud and the supporters were all very passionate.

Singing the national anthem was pretty cool. I think you get more into it when you’re overseas because, in a sense, you’re up against it. I felt very patriotic though singing the national anthem on enemy soil.

I also remember facing the Haka, which was a unique experience having watched it many times before on TV. The noise from the crowd went up a few decibels at the same time, too.

Saturday, August 25, Eden Park: 19:35 – kick off in Bledisloe 2

The game itself was really exciting. The first-half was close and the crowd was a bit quiet, before they came to life a bit more in the second-half.

Obviously it didn’t finish the way we wanted to, but it was still a night to remember. And my mum (Bronwyn) and my best mate’s mum flew over to watch the game which was pretty cool. I got to see them after the game in the stands so that was a good consolation for me.

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All Blacks prop Joe Moody ruled out of rest of Rugby Championship

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during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Westpac Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand.

All Blacks loosehead prop Joe Moody is to miss the remainder of the Rugby Championship after injuring his thumb in Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup-winning Test.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Moods has had an x-ray which has revealed a fracture in his left thumb.”

“He doesn’t need surgery but will be in a cast for six weeks and, unfortunately, will miss the rest of the Rugby Championship.  The good news is he’ll be back in time for the Northern Tour to Japan and Europe.”

With All Blacks replacement prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen carrying an injury, Taranaki and Chiefs prop Angus Ta’avao has been called into the All Blacks squad as a replacement.

Hansen said with Moody injured, fellow All Blacks prop Karl Tu’inukuafe would now cover the loosehead prop position, and so the selectors had opted to bring in a tighthead in Ta’avao.

“Angus had a big season for the Chiefs during the Super Rugby season, was part of a very good Chiefs pack and has made big strides on the technical aspects of his position. We look forward to him joining the squad.”

The All Blacks squad will reassemble in Nelson on Sunday to prepare for the Rugby Championship Test against Argentina on Saturday September 8.

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Awesome All Blacks and plucky Pumas dominate our Rugby Championship Team of the Week

Alex Broun 26/08/2018
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Brilliant Ben Smith leaves Marika Koroibete in his wake

The All Blacks machine rolled on, aided by a once in a career performance by Beauden Barrett, and with the Springboks‘ surprise loss to the Pumas in Argentina it looks as if New Zealand already have the Rugby Championship sewn up. What’s more, the Bledisloe Cup is safely back in their trophy case for another year.

Here’s our team of the week from round two with All Blacks dominating, not surprisingly, and a good sprinkling of Pumas, a few Wallabies and just one Springbok.

15. Jordie Barrett (NZ)

The youngest Barrett took his chance with some damaging running and great linking play. In all, 14 passes, 13 runs for a game high 149 metres, two clean breaks,five defenders beaten and one offload.

14. Baptist Delguy (ARG)

Scored both of the Pumas opening tries to put them on the way to a famous victory. Some quality finishing with nine runs for 64 metres including three clean breaks and no less than 10 defenders beaten.

13. Matias Moroni (ARG)

Silken hands and superb positioning sense saw him finish with three try assists and he put in his wingers for a shared hat-trick. Elusive with ball in hand as his stats show – five runs for 51 metres, two clean breaks and two defenders beaten.

12. Ngani Laumape (NZ)

Injuries to Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty gave him his chance and the Canes midfielder took it with both hands. A headache for the defence all day, making 16 runs for 81 metres, one clean break and five defenders beaten.

11. Ben Smith (NZ)

A complete performance from the fullback/winger. Superb under the highball, his brilliant take on 12 minutes set up Beauden Barrett’s opening try. A superb 14 passes, 14 runs for 93 metres, four clean breaks, three defenders beaten and a game high four offloads.

10. Beauden Barrett (NZ)

His 30 points were the most ever scored by one player against the Wallabies in a Test, while his four tries equaled the most scored by a player against Australia in a single outing. Enough said.

9. Will Genia (AUS)

One of the Wallabies best, he made 80 passes, 10 runs for 44 metres, two clean breaks, and four defenders beaten. He made one offload and also scored one of the Wallabies’ two tries with a snipe of the scrum-base close to the line.

8. Kieran Read (NZ)

The rock on which the All Blacks forward platform is built. A game high 21 tackles snuffing out any Australian resistance before it began, good linking play with four passes plus nine  runs for 36 metres and one clean break.

Siya Kolisi goes over for the opening try against Argentina

Siya Kolisi goes over for the opening try against Argentina

7. Siya Kolisi (SA)

Strong performance in a beaten side by the Bok skipper. His opening try showed speed and strength and he continued to work hard with 10 tackles, 12 runs for 75 metres, three clean breaks and seven defenders beaten.

6. Lukhan Tui (AUS)

This is a tough call with none of the blindside flankers really standing out. Tui worked hard in both defence (11 tackles) and attack (11 runs for 39 metres, two clean breaks, five defenders beaten) and conceded no penalties.

5. Guido Petti Pagadizaval (ARG)

When the Boks started to come back in the second half the Pumas had to stand tall and none stood taller than Pagadizaval. He made 15 tackles, five runs for 17 metres and nine out of 10 lineouts won.

4. Brodie Retallick (NZ)

Superb again. Did the tough stuff in tight with 11 runs from 48 metres, and 11 tackles, and won five lineouts. But it was with the ball in hand where he really excelled with an offload, two tackle busts and even a try assist for Liam Squire’s try.

3. Joe Moody (NZ)

Working has way back to his best, Moody was solid at the set piece and strong in the loose, taking his try well at the start of the second half to kill off the match. Eight tackles and four out of four at scrum time.

Agustin Creevy holds aloft the trophy after defeating South Africa

Agustin Creevy holds aloft the trophy after defeating South Africa

2. Agustin Creevy (ARG)

A herculean effort in defence as the Pumas broke a 11-match losing streak. Made a game high 18 tackles and was steady at the lineout with nine wins from 10 throws. Held the pack together at scrum time with six wins from eight.

1. Scott Sio (AUS)

The Wallabies scrum was unrecognisable to the blancmange of last week and much of that was down to Sio. Australia won 10 out of 10 scrums, earned numerous penalties and their pressure on the ABs pack led to Genia’s try.

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