Wallabies on the ropes as horror run continues

Sun Nov 1, 2009 8:08am GMT

By Alastair Himmer

TOKYO (Reuters) - Australia were struggling to paper over the cracks after suffering their seventh straight defeat by New Zealand in their Bledisloe Cup test in Tokyo.

The All Blacks won Saturday's game 32-19 to complete a 4-0 season whitewash over the Australians and increase the pressure on under-fire Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

In front of a crowd of 44,000 -- many in fancy dress to celebrate Halloween -- Australia lacked the firepower to end their horror run despite leading 16-13 at halftime.

"Can anyone tell me what the penalty count was?" Deans tetchily asked reporters, accusing the All Blacks of negative tactics under a fierce Wallaby assault late in the first period.

"I know of the first six penalties, four were in the red zone. There probably should have been a couple of others when the ball was lifted out of rucks one metre short of the line."

With Sitiveni Sivivatu sin-binned, a combination of good fortune and desperate defence allowed New Zealand to survive and go into the break just three points down.

"It's frustrating," fumed Deans. "Particularly when you play a fixture in Tokyo when we're trying to promote the game. I don't think it contributed well to the game today."

Australian playmaker Matt Giteau also took a swipe at perceived All Blacks spoiling tactics under pressure.   Continued...

<p>Australia's Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans attends a practice session for their 2009 Bledisloe Cup rugby match against New Zealand's All Blacks in Tokyo on Saturday. The All Blacks won the game 32-19 to complete a 4-0 season whitewash over the Australians.</p>
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