Have your say on the Wallabies
Tim Sheridan is a reporter with Wide World of Sports and an integral member of the National Nine News team.
Wallabies fans who remember last year's Tri Nations decider at Suncorp Stadium may also recall a telling moment early in the first half.
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was dazed and on the ground; Adam Thompson was also in bad shape. The All Blacks back-rower had been busted up at the breakdown in a rare show of dominance by the Australian pack.
That night, on the eve of the Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks were beaten. After the match, legendary lock Brad Thorn told me that perhaps it was the loss they had to have. The All Blacks haven't been beaten since, and Australia hasn't repeated the standards of that match.
Like Thorn, Nathan Sharpe is a war horse. He's played 111 Tests, but unlike Thorn he was down the national pecking order a bit during the RWC. One year, and a withering Wallabies injury toll, has changed everything. More or less summoned from pasture to take over firstly the number 5 jumper and then the captaincy, Sharpe has been amazing.
In some positions Australia is carrying its third-choice player. As his injured team-mates fell around him – and let's remember three of those were captains – Sharpe's enthusiasm, focus and commitment have been the Wallabies' rock.
"Courage is eternal," Sharpe said before the Test win against Argentina in Rosario. This was in the wake of the carnage at Loftus Versfeld, and in the shadow of Quade Cooper's description of the Wallabies change room as 'toxic'.
In the 61st minute of the Rosario test, the Pumas should have scored, and really they would've scored against most sides in the world. The Wallabies had dropped the ball, kicked it out on the full, and aimlessly up field, but they weren't having it come over their try line in the arms of a Puma. No way.
It's hard to imagine this resolute and belligerent attitude isn't in some way inspired by a man who leads by example at a time when he can count the rest of his matches in gold on one hand.
It's interesting that Sharpe wasn't always Robbie Deans' first choice, because in this crisis he has proved he ranks with any of Australia's great "workrate" locks of the past.
He is the knuckle of the forward pack's fist, making the first seconds of the breakdown an unpleasant area for the opposition. When they all stand up, he looks them straight in the eye. Only dynamic, explosive and fearless big men can achieve this.
In August last year Dan Vickerman, James Horwill, David Pocock and co drew a line in the turf at Suncorp and met the All Blacks right on it, and beyond, from the very first minute of the Test. This changed the way the Wallabies attacked. The All Blacks fell off Radike Samo, Will Genia went for a run, and suddenly Australia looked dangerous. It wasn't a change of tactics, just a lift in physicality.
Anything is possible if the Wallabies can achieve this and with a captain playing a record 112th and last Test on Australian soil, my bet is they won't die wondering.
How will the Wallabies go in the final Bledisloe Test?
What do you think of Nathan Sharpe's career?
What are your thoughts on the Wallabies' Rugby Championship performances?