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Deans: 'It's not about me'

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Sportal.co.nz     26 Aug 2012     Getty Images

Deans watched on helplessly from high above Eden Park as his troops were thoroughly outclassed by the All Blacks in a 22-0 result that kept the Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand's trophy cabinet for the 10th year in a row.

The loss, coupled with last weekend's 27-19 result in Sydney that also went the way of the men in black, means Australia's odds of adding the inaugural Rugby Championship to last year's Tri Nations triumph became a lot longer.

The same can be said for Deans' chances of holding on to his job.

He is contracted until the end of 2013 after having his initial two-year deal lengthened by another 24 months in the lead-up to last year's World Cup.

The Wallabies went on to lose to Ireland in pool play, narrowly sneak past South Africa in the quarter-finals before being tripped up again by the All Blacks, 20-6 in the semi-final.

Deans' coaching record against New Zealand now stands at an appalling 14 losses from 17 matches.

But when confronted with those statistics, Deans said: "It's not about me, it's about the team and what we do.

"That's the last thing on my mind right now. It's about the team and picking up and carrying on."

He said there was 'no doubt' there would be calls for his head on the back of the Eden Park shutout and that was 'the nature of the industry."

Opposing coach Steve Hansen – a former colleague of Deans in Christchurch with the Crusaders and Canterbury – resisted the temptation to put the boot in.

A New Zealand television reporter threw out the bait to Hansen, asking if an All Blacks coach with a record like Deans would have been punted already.

"Why don't you give me a loaded gun Jimmy – why don't you just pull the trigger yourself?" Hansen said as a roar of laughter erupted around the room.

"We all know the answer to that so I'm not even going to go there. But thanks for the lovely call."

Whether or not the call comes with bad news to Deans from Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill could well be dependent on how the rest of their Rugby Championship campaign pans out.

They have a week off to regroup before taking on the Springboks in Perth on September 8, followed by the visit of Argentina to the Gold Coast seven days later.

Their next shot at redemption as far as taking on the All Blacks is concerned will have to wait until October 20, when the two sides meet in Brisbane en route to respective end-of-year tours to Europe.