Matt Toomua and Michael Hooper.
Matt Toomua and Michael Hooper.

‘Australia no longer produces hard men’

Cop that, Wallabies. A Kiwi journalist has called into question the manhood of our entire national rugby team, accusing the Wallabies of being a bunch of fake tough guys who are easily rattled.

New Zealand Herald scribe Gregor Paul wrote some A-grade bulletin board material for coach Dave Rennie when he declared the All Blacks' win in the second Bledisloe Test was guaranteed after Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou was shoved by Dane Coles early in the contest.

Paul claimed Tupou "didn't like being singled out by such a deliberate act of aggression" and discovered "he was nowhere near as tough as he thought".

"What the All Blacks remembered at Eden Park is that Australia doesn't actually do genuine hard men," Paul wrote, claiming the Wallabies hadn't produced a "hall of fame hard nut" since George Smith retired in 2013.

He continued by proclaiming "Australia have little appetite for open confrontation" and "the Wallabies didn't always have the necessary grit to put their bodies on the line".

Paul's colleague Dylan Cleaver also believed it was the All Blacks' aggression that proved the difference after a draw in game one.

"They destroyed Australia, reaffirming the talent disparity between the two sides," he wrote.

"Tactics aside … it was the greater ferocity with which the All Blacks approached their task that was the biggest difference. It was missing in Wellington, which was disturbing as it's the very least we expect from All Blacks.

"It must continue across the Tasman."

Originally published as 'Australia no longer produces hard men'


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