Ex-All Blacks skipper Justin Marshall says Australia's failings against New Zealand are no reflection on the coaching ability of Robbie Deans.

The former New Zealand halfback doesn't think the Wallabies have the strength up front to breathe life into their rugby Test hopes on Saturday night but says the competitive nature of Deans means the Australians are always a chance.

Deans coached Marshall during the glory years at the Crusaders in the late 1990s and was his New Zealand assistant coach when the All Blacks wrestled the Bledisloe Cup from Australia's grip in 2003.

Marshall said he's surprised that the All Blacks' domination has now reached the point where Australia are staring down the barrel of 10 straight years of Bledisloe misery.

Deans will be under enormous pressure to hold his job if the drought continues, but Marshall said another failing shouldn't damage the former All Black's coaching reputation.

"I understand he's under pressure and every coach when they're not winning consistently always is," Marshall told NZN.

"But that doesn't make him a bad coach.

"He's just up against the best team in the world and that's the only team he's really consistently failing against.

"I think people need to realise that and the Wallabies are No.2 in the world and that's not too bad."

NZ Newswire

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