Moore: All Blacks the biggest test

Australia hooker Stephen Moore believes Saturday's Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand will be the Wallabies' toughest assignment since the arrival of Kiwi coach Robbie Deans. [more]

Moore: All Blacks the biggest test

Australia hooker Stephen Moore believes Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand will be the Wallabies’ toughest assignment since the arrival of Kiwi coach Robbie Deans.

Deans’ team continued their winning ways on Saturday with a gutsy 16-9 triumph over South Africa to stretch their unbeaten run to four matches under the former Crusaders mentor.

But Moore reckons the All Blacks remain the benchmark side in world rugby despite their defeat to the world champion Springboks in Dunedin on July 12.

"The Bledisloe Cup in Sydney’s a huge contest for us, it doesn’t get any bigger than that and hopefully we’ll have a full house out there so it’s a huge opportunity for us," Moore said.

"Obviously (the mood is) very upbeat after the weekend but I think realistic as well. We’ve still got plenty of stuff we can improve on and it’s going to be another step this week against the All Blacks."

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Moore laughed off suggestions the New Zealanders have lost their aura following the loss of several key players after their disappointing World Cup exit at the quarter-final stage.
"
Any All Black team that runs out representing their country is going to be strong. We see that in the Super 14," he said.

"I think they’re going to be a very strong side."

The 25-year-old is hoping Deans’ inside knowledge of the All Blacks players could prove a decisive factor.

"I suppose Robbie will know a few little secrets about some of the Canterbury (Crusaders) players and I know there’ll be a lot of attention around that this week but as a player we’ll just focus on our own role as we did last week and go out there with the intent of doing everything right," Moore said.

Pressed on the former All Black’s approach to his first game against his home country as an enemy coach, Moore said Deans remains focused on the job of developing his own charges.

"I think Robbie just wants the team that he’s coaching to do well… it doesn’t matter what team it is – he’s just up-skilling the group of players he’s got at the moment with the aim of them reaching their potential, so I think that’s the only way Robbie looks at it," Moore said.

In-form winger Peter Hynes claims Deans’ intimate knowledge of key personnel will be offset by the players’ own knowledge of the master coach.

"I guess he has a huge knowledge of certain players, particularly their key players, guys like Dan Carter," Hynes said.

"But on the other side of the coin they know him as well so I guess at the end of the day it’s going to come down to the 15 players on the field."

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