IN JULY 2003 the All Blacks smashed the Wallabies by 29 points at Telstra Stadium.
A month later, the All Blacks beat Australia by four points at Eden Park in New Zealand but when it really mattered, during the World Cup in November, the Wallabies won 22-10.
That’s the message the Maccabi rugby coach Brendon Hall will be giving his players ahead of Saturday’s Meldrum Cup grand final against Redfield, because Maccabi hasn’t beaten Redfield since 2009. In May this year they lost 26-8 at Lyne Park in Rose Bay and only two weeks ago they lost 22-3 in a qualification final, but it will mean nothing from 3pm on Saturday.
“It will change this Saturday because we have belief and we have corrected the issues that we have had,” Hall said.
“We have the personnel to win but the whole team has to turn up.
“Everyone has to take responsibility for their own defence because this will require a full team effort and we can’t have any passengers.”
Hall said he expected Redfield to use the same tactics as it did two weeks ago, when they simply ran around Maccabi’s wingers.
“They muscled up in the forwards and that took us by surprise and that is what faltered, it wasn’t the wingers.
“The problem was they were sucking us into the ruck and as soon as they saw an overlap they just went wide and the last person in the chain was obviously the winger, but it wasn’t all his responsibility.”
Hall said the solution was to flood the field with defenders.
“If we don’t over-commit and then we fan out in defence then we can win. We need to play the game at their end of the field and kick the balls into the corner.”
Maccabi’s shot at the premiership comes after they defeated Dundas Valley 19-5 last Saturday. Hall said Dundas played very hard rugby and it was a good match before the grand final.
He’s calling on all Maccabi fans to email their messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maccabi will play Redfield in the grand final at 3pm on Saturday at Norford Park, Sefton. Entry is $15.