James Mortimer 26.Aug.2012Getty Images
Burke’s comments may not have been true earlier in the month - with the Wallabies not looking to pile on the respect in the build-up to Sydney, while in Auckland they bunkered down with something of a siege mentality – but after losing to the All Blacks 22-0, they had nothing but praise for the number one ranked team.
Burke, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, said that the All Blacks were back to beating teams before they even kicked off.
“The idea of dominance in a sport can be used to intimidate an opponent in the arena,” the former Wallabies fullback wrote.
“When you are at the top of your game, there comes an aura that surrounds the individual or the team that basically says: Bow down and pay homage to me. You are in my presence."
“But there has to come a time where you just say '&%#@ it'."
“I say this because I have a feeling the Wallabies are at this point. They are treading too lightly when it comes to the All Blacks and the respect shown to a black jersey.”
He said that a certain level of respect, if utilised properly, could be turned to the Wallabies advantage if they tore into the All Blacks.
“Yes, there has to be respect but pay that respect the honour of going as hard as you can at the All Blacks,” he said.
“Make them earn that respect, rather than just handing it to them in a timid fashion. In part it is exacerbated by the individual's mindset before they go into the contest. History has a say in determining what lies in front of you and, if you pay it too much respect, you can get caught up in it and lose focus.”
Burke also felt that there was too much familiarity with the All Blacks from the Wallabies, a note that hearkened back to tactics from former Australian coaches where first names were not allowed and the words ‘All Blacks’ were effectively banned – attempts to break down the Black jersey’s legacy.
“A couple of issues I have with the current crop of players is that, when they talk about the opposition, they are using first names,” Burke wrote.
“I know this sounds petty, but it riles me every time. They speak of Richie, Dan, Israel and Sonny Bill. Sorry boys but it should be McCaw, Carter, Dagg and Williams.”
“These are the same guys that laugh at you when they win games and I bet they are not calling you Will, Quade or Kurtley.”