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  Saturday, 14 July, 2001, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Smith unfazed by Aussie triumph
Australian captain John Eales is tackled during a Tri-nations Test against the All Blacks
Aussie captain John Eales playing against New Zealand
Australia's series-clinching win over the Lions does not make them favourites for the Tri-Nations tournament, New Zealand coach Wayne Smith said on Saturday.

The Wallabies beat the Lions 29-23 in Sydney to win the series 2-1.

"The Wallabies will have their tails in the air and will be full of excitement," said Smith.

"But last year's competition showed once again that there's very little to choose between the teams.

"The 'Boks beat us in Johannesburg and should have beaten the Wallabies the week after," he said.

"And we could have beaten the Wallabies in an earlier match and won the Tri-Nations. It's going to be very similar to last year.

New Zealand coach Wayne Smith
New Zealand coach Smith dismissive
"I read that the Wallabies reckon the third Test against the Lions was going to be the toughest game they were going to play all year.

"It would be nice if they were a little bit complacent, but they've shown the ability to get up when the chips are down."

The All Blacks go into the series, which begins on 21 July in Cape Town, on the back of warm-up victories over Samoa, Argentina and France.

"We are probably ahead of where we were at this time last year but when all is said and done it looks exactly the same on paper.

"We won the first three Tests of last year but now we have to show we can take the step up.

"But for us we're only looking as far ahead as the match against the 'Boks," Smith said.

"I just think that on their day any of the three teams can beat any of the others."


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14 Jul 01 | Lions Down Under
14 Jul 01 | Lions Down Under
13 Jul 01 | Lions Down Under
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