No mercy: All Blacks ready to move in for the Bledisloe kill

Annette Crawford
August 20, 2018

Folau hobbled off the field midway through the second half of Australia's 38-13 defeat to the All Blacks at ANZ Staduim on Saturday night and was later spotted using crutches.

The Wallabies claimed a rare victory over the world champions when the two sides met in Brisbane past year, but have not won back-to-back Test matches against New Zealand since 2001. "Quite rare really", Cheika said.

"He just got a small tear in a muscle, right down low".

Cheika was hopeful the three-time John Eales Medallist would be back for Australia's third Rugby Championship fixture against South Africa in Brisbane in three weeks.

He was a no show at Sydney airport on Sunday, with coach Michael Cheika confirming the Wallabies would need a new full-back for Saturday's must-win return bout against the All Blacks' at the Eden Park graveyard.

"There was too much ball given back to the opposition, both from set-pieces and general play", Cheika said afterwards.

Folau's unavailability leaves young guns Jack Maddocks and Tom Banks in line to fill the champion full-back's boots, although Kurtley Beale also looms as an option with Matt Toomua a candidate for inside centre.

Shea Crotty, a top basketballer who has played for the Tall Ferns, tweeted: "I want to see my brother grow old and able, not battling the brain forever".

'Their backs are against the wall and they're going to improve, ' he said.

The injuries may give Australia a glimmer of hope for next week's must-win second Test at Eden Park, a venue where they have not tasted victory since 1986.

"It's about being on, us staying on in the mind all the time around what we need to bring".

"We'd be silly to think they haven't got another player who's going to step in and wear the jersey with pride and urgency", Hansen said. Then it was our turn to have our moments and whilst we didn't capitalise like we would have liked to have in that 20 minutes we certainly made them work hard.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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