The Kangaroos suffered their biggest loss since the game was born in this country in 1908, smashed 30-0 by a bold and brash New Zealand side.
Heads are certain to roll following the humiliating defeat, starting with skipper James Tedesco and halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.
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The pair, aged 30 and 34 respectively, won their places in the Kangaroo team largely on reputation and may well be the ones to pay the penalty for the record loss.
Tedesco has been a brilliant servant to the Roosters, New South Wales and Australia over many years – but his best football is now behind him and there are more creative and dynamic fullbacks in the game waiting for their chance.
The same can be said of Cherry-Evans, who came into the team due to Nathan Cleary’s absence through injury.
The likes of Kalyn Ponga and Reece Walsh are the future of the Australian fullback spot and one of them is certain to inherit the number one jersey in 2024.
Cleary is destined to be our playmaker for years to come but if he goes down again next season, up-and-comers like Tom Dearden or Ezra Mam will be considered.
The Aussies didn’t only fail to score a point – they didn’t make a single line break and the responsibility for that falls largely on the spine.
Tedesco and DCE couldn’t get the team’s attack going, five-eighth Cameron Munster was hot/cold and hookers Ben Hunt and Harry Grant made four runs between them. It was a poor day all around for Australian rugby league.
“Everyone loves to see us lose, so we did that and made everyone happy,” Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said.
“We’re competitive as well and we’re no less passionate about putting our colours on.
“It’ll shock the rugby league world in the manner we lost and the scoreline, but we’ll come back with redemption next year.”
For years, the Kangaroos have been picking players on reputation, with critics predicting that one day it would come back to bite them one day.
Saturday November 4, 2023, was that day and selectors and coach Mal Meninga have some tough calls to make when they pick the next Australian team in new year.