All Blacks vulnerable? You have to be kidding!
NEW Zealand's uncharacteristic slow start to the Rugby Championship has got the Wallabies on edge because they know only too well what usually happens next.
The All Blacks aren't world champions for nothing so whenever they string together a couple of below-par performances, the next team in waiting usually cops the brunt.
Dismissing the notion that the All Blacks are ripe for a beating, the Wallabies say they have been put on notice to expect a backlash in Saturday's Bledisloe Cup clash.
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"I definitely wouldn't say they're vulnerable," Wallabies utility back Reece Hodge said.
"We are confident in ourselves and what we're trying to do but they're going to be extremely confident themselves as well.
"They would have been trialling a few things ahead of the World Cup. I'm sure they're confident that's going to come to fruition on Saturday."
"I don't think they'll be talking about any vulnerability in the camp. It's up to us to really go out there on Saturday and test them as much as we can."
Veteran prop Sekope Kepu has seen it all before, so he's also expecting to face a fired-up New Zealand team.
While Australia's improved front row has suddenly become a strength after the strong performance in the scrums against Argentina, Kepu knows the mindset of the All Blacks will be to attack the Wallabies in the engine room.
"They're not going to sweat it too much," Kepu said.
"I'm sure they'll prepare really, really well and want to bounce back as we did from the Springboks the first week.
"The challenge for us is to rise to that and just keep building."
"We're not going to rest on our laurels and think we've done a great job. We've parked that and we've got a massive, massive challenge on Saturday. We can't be fooled into thinking otherwise.
"You can't be smiling and happy about that and get caught with our pants down on Saturday."