Sport and hyperbole go together like salt and cooking. A well-apportioned sprinkling here; c’est magnifique! Too much? It all becomes a little unpalatable.
With that in mind, it’s not “do-or-die” or “the last chance for salvation” for the Wallabies (some might say that particular horse bolted several campaigns ago); but at the very least, tonight’s match does represent a big opportunity for a youthful Wallabies outfit to lay down a huge marker for future aspirations.
The Bledisloe Cup. A contest for the ages, 117 years in the making. One of the most iconic clashes in world Rugby – if you can see past the near two decades of recent Black-hued domination.
As we saw in game one in Wellington though, for the hopeful Wallabies fan or the underdog-supporting neutral, there are plenty of indications that this All Blacks iteration is not the fear-inducing version upon which their reputation was built. Which does bring a certain added excitement to this fixture.
And for the chief subplot – not since something like 1934 has Australia named twin debutants in the playmaker roles at No10 and No12, and beaten New Zealand. It’s the hail-mary gamble from new coach Dave Rennie that many have called for; although greats like Stirling Mortlock while applauding the move, have still cautioned that some blooding in games one and two for tyro talents Noah Lolesio and Irae Simone might have been advisable.
Still, we’ll delve into plenty more subplots before we get rolling. Put the kettle on, plump the cushions. Because if games one and two are anything to go off – Bledisloe III should be a cracker.