Former Test centre Daniel Herbert says the Wallabies shouldn’t be fooled by the so-called mystique of Eden Park as they attempt to win at the Auckland venue on Sunday for the first time in 34 years.
The Wallabies matched the might of the All Blacks in last weekend’s thrilling 16-16 draw in the first Bledisloe Cup Test in Wellington.
But toppling New Zealand at Eden Park, where the Wallabies last won in 1986, is likely to be a tougher task.
Herbert never won with the Wallabies at Eden Park, but tasted success there with Queensland.
“There are certain grounds around the world where the hometown advantage seems to work, but it didn’t work for a lot of years for Auckland as a province,” Herbert said.
“The All Blacks just tend to go well there, and more so they go well against us,
“If you ask (then Wallabies captain) Andrew Slack what his guys did in 1986, I don’t think there’s anything different to what they did in that game to many others. They just got it right on the day.
“Our guys now have just got to get it right om the day”
Herbert said there nothing unusual about Eden Park or Auckland that should prevent the Wallabies from winning there.
“There is nothing different that I ever found there compared to anywhere else,” he said.
“In Wellington, you’ve got to deal with the wind, which can be a real factor but in Auckland it’s just like anywhere else.
“It doesn’t have any of those unique factors that you sometimes find.”
Herbert called for another “no fear” performance from the Wallabies after their brave weekend performance in Wellington.
“No-one’s ever happy with a draw but from a fan’s perspective, you look at that game and it gives you a bit of belief,” he said.
“We’ve had a few false dawns in the past so you just hope they back it up this week but they played with a hell of a lot of commitment, and they showed they’re fit.
“New Zealand will be better this week. They won’t take too kindly to that result, but our guys have lot of potential as well, and you’d like to think Australia has a lot of improvement in them as well.”
Herbert, also a Rugby Australia board member, was hopeful the four-nation Rugby Championship would proceed as planned despite South Africa threatening to withdraw from the first three rounds of the tournament due “player welfare” concern because of a recent lack of football.
“For (South Africa) coming off a World Cup win last year, they’d like a better preparation but we all would,” Herbert said.
“New Zealand had the best preparation of anyone … but it showed on the weekend that anything can happen on the day.”