Underdone Wallabies brace for All Blacks
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Australia improvement since their last meeting with New Zealand will be put to the test when the two sides clash in the third Bledisloe Cup match this Saturday.
The All Blacks have already bagged the Bledisloe Cup with a 54-34 win and 35-29 win over Australia.
Since then, the Wallabies have banks two draws against the Springboks and a comfortable win over Argentina.
The Wallabies have ended second in the Rugby Championship and have shown major improvements, nonetheless flyhalf Bernard Foley believes his side is still far from where their need to be for the number one team in the world.
"I think just amongst the squad there’s a lot more belief but we haven’t really achieved what we wanted to achieve," he admitted, adding: "Two good wins and two draws - it’s not like we’re playing the house down.
"However, there has been that development and that progress amongst the squad is pleasing.
"Having said that, [the All Blacks are] the number one side and they’re world class for a reason,"
Foley said the Wallabies wouldn’t be dwelling anymore on the heartbreaking loss they suffered in Dunedin, where a missed kick-off led to a try in the final two minutes.
“I suppose we analysed that game as soon as it happened in the lead up to the next game and we made changes from that,” he said.
“We realized how the little details, or (that) there’s a lot of small moments in the game and you have to be able to win every moment, especially against a side like the All Blacks if you give them a little slip-up.
“For us, that was something we analysed and dealt with and we won’t be looking back on that.”
The Wallabies will be based on the Gold Coast until Friday morning, before heading to Brisbane, a pattern they’ve become accustomed to this season, spending the first part of match weeks away from the game-day setup.
“Guys get consistent with it and get used to it. That’s allowed us to prepare the best we can.”
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It’s all familiar territory for lock Rob Simmons, who grew up on the Gold Coast and has played all of his Super Rugby with the Queensland Reds.
Saturday will be his last outing at Suncorp for a while, but the soon-to-be Waratahs second-row said there was always a sense of confidence playing in Brisbane.
Australia has won 21 of its 30 outings at the ground, though two of their eight losses have come in the past three years, against England (2016) and New Zealand (2014)
"As a group of Wallabies we’ve always enjoyed playing in Brisbane, we’ve always enjoyed it, it’s a really good stadium to play at, it’s a bit of a home ground for us," he said.