VIDEO: Wallabies happy away from home drama
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Following Australia’s 19-23 defeat to Argentina, the side can’t be more content to be on tour, says forward Allan Alaalatoa.
The defeat to Los Pumas has truly placed a huge detachment between the Wallabies and their supporters, evident in the ugly exchanges between a fan and Wallaby flank Lukhan Tui after the Rugby Championship match two weeks ago.
The Wallabies’ increased unpopular status in Australia stems from the side’s three Rugby Championship defeats in four games and their potential last-place finish in the four-nation competition.
Over the last five years, the Test matches between South Africa and Australia has always been closely contested.
Six of their last seven Tests have been decided by less than a converted try and the scoreboard couldn’t split them in both Perth and Bloemfontein last year.
However, this weekend Michael Cheika’s troops face a Springboks side oozing with confidence following their 36-34 win over the All Blacks in Nelson a fortnight ago.
Despite the odds, Alaalatoa is confident that being away from home will give the side space and time to readjust and produced a much better performance.
“Being away from Australia can be good for us,” the Wallaby prop told reporters at the training in Port Elizbeth.
“It’s a good time for us to tour and connect as a group and get to know each other, a lot more than what we do now,”
“We’re growing as a group and with the away games being later in the season we’re obviously hitting towards that point where we’re developing and getting to know our game plan,” Alaalatoa said.
“We only have each other and it’s something we need to draw on and use throughout the week.”
With the Springboks’ formidable pack, seen in their last Rugby Championship fixture against the All Blacks where they dominated the set-piece, the Wallabies have placed a huge emphasis on their combinations in front this weekend.
“We’re still inconsistent all round in terms of our whole combinations a forward pack and it’s something we’re looking to develop throughout the week,” Alaalatoa said.
“It’s not going to just come naturally.
“There are some combinations where we need to work on but that’s something we need to work,”
While his teammate Ned Hanigan also stressed the prop’s sentiments and said the Wallabies have no choice but to turn the tide.
“We’ve had a lot of hard conversations since the result against Argentina. You can’t leave what happened there behind completely,” he said.
“There are some learnings that have come out of it.
“We can’t kick stones, we’ve got to grab the situation and turn things around,”
Australia face South Africa on Saturday, September 29 in Port Elizabeth, before heading to Salta to take on Argentina on October 6.