Rathbone: Wallabies must accept truth

Clyde Rathbone says the Wallabies must be honest and admit that they almost certainly won't beat the All Blacks.

In a column for the Australian Rugby Union website, the former Wallabies wing said the national side was being burdened by expectations, but doing little to help themselves.

'From [boxing legend] Muhammad Ali to [mixed martial arts fighter] Conor McGregor absolute self-confidence appears a prerequisite to every great sporting achievement. But for every Ali and McGregor there are countless athletes for whom blind faith in one's ability is a slippery slope to delusion.

'The Wallabies were confident going into the first Bledisloe … they talked themselves into the much vaunted “winning mindset”. Forty-two points later reality came crashing home in the form of a record loss to the All Blacks. The truth is pitiless, indifferent to all but the purity of its own self-evidence. And the truth is that the All Blacks are a much better team than the Wallabies.

'What I would give for the coach or player who when addressing the media let rip with this kind of unprecedented truth bomb: “Look, we're almost certainly not going to win on Saturday. The last time we won in New Zealand was back in 2001 and our home record against the All Blacks isn't great either. They are one of the greatest sporting teams in history, so we've got to play at our best and hope they have an off night if we're going to steal a win. That's the reality but we're up for the challenge.”'

Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt