Rennie's threat after Wallabies' shocking missed tackles stat
REACTION: Wallabies coach Dave Rennie had a direct message for his squad about their high error rate, particularly missing 40 tackles in their second Bledisloe Cup match on Sunday.
Rennie’s team went down 7-27 at Eden Park after playing out a 16-16 draw with the All Blacks a week earlier in Wellington.
The coach has now threatened to drop players after Sunday’s performance.
“Selection can sometimes fix that,” Rennie warned.
“We turned the ball over a lot and we missed too many tackles. The individual tackles were poor and we got put under the heat from it.
“Right across the board we weren’t as sharp as last week and gave them a lot of space and opportunity.”
Much of the damage inflicted by the All Blacks came from 21-year-old Caleb Clarke, starting a Test for the first time after making his debut in a 10-minute cameo off the bench last week.
His rampaging runs drew immediate comparisons with the great Jonah Lomu, rugby’s first global superstar who retired in 2002 and died in 2015.
Although Clarke did not score himself, he set up a sensational try by Ardie Savea and was often instrumental in leading the All Blacks out of their danger zone and on to attack.
Clarke left the field to a standing ovation and All Blacks coach Ian Foster said he had delivered the level of performance he wanted from the entire squad.
“He just wants the ball and wants to run hard and it’s quite a good thing for us to give him the ball,” Foster said.
“I think the whole team will be thrilled for him, to see him running around and doing what he loves doing and that’s what we all need to be doing.”
The All Blacks outscored their opponents by four tries to one, but apart from the devastation wreaked by Clarke, it was not the performance Foster was looking for.
The All Blacks were 10-7 up at the break before they turned on the style in the second period with three unanswered tries.
“That’s the level we need to start at,” Foster said.
“We’ve set a marker down of where we need to be as a team in terms of the mental side of the game and the approach to the physicality and speed of it.
“Was it a perfect performance, no it wasn’t… We’ve just got to climb because it’s a tough series. This is a better Wallabies team than I’ve seen for a while and they want to stay in the fight.”
The final two games of the series will be played in Australia as part of the Tri-Nations, also involving Argentina. New Zealand have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003.