Wallabies turn to Rugby League for inspiration
The Wallabies are drawing inspiration from Queensland’s State of Origin boilover as they strive to produce their own backs-to-the-wall victory over the All Blacks.
Just as the Maroons were given little hope of toppling NSW in rugby league’s showpiece series opener, the Wallabies have been written off after relinquishing the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th consecutive year with last Saturday’s record 42-5 defeat in Sydney.
But Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said his underdogs should take heart from the rookie Queenslanders ahead of Saturday’s final Bledisloe stoush in Brisbane.
“I loved the game. What I loved about it was Queensland found themselves down and under pressure and they fought their way back into it,” Rennie said.
“Versus what we tried to do last week was try and create a few miracles and [we] lacked patience, so there’s a good lesson for us as well.”
Rennie said as good as the All Blacks are, they “absolutely” possess weaknesses, too, which the Wallabies can exploit at Suncorp Stadium.
“The frustration for us is we’ve lacked the patience or lacked communication or lacked the accuracy to expose them,” he said.
“We still expect those opportunities to be there. It takes courage and takes a lot of work rate off the ball.
“But, as we showed in Wellington, if you can hang onto the ball you can apply a bit of pressure and because we didn’t turn the ball over, we didn’t give them a lot of ball.
“We kicked with time and space because certainly off turnover and counter they can hurt you.
“So really in Wellington, we were accurate.
“Really, we need to be at our best to knock the All Blacks over and we need to apply pressure to them.”
(Continue below … )
Back row forward Harry Wilson said the Wallabies needed to same the composure as the Maroons to compete with the All Blacks.
“Obviously, especially the last few games, we haven’t started very well, just the way Queensland [didn’t],” Wilson said.
“Even when they were down, they were very calm and I guess didn’t get too flustered.
“Then in the second half, they just went out there and played footy and just slowly grind and grind until they got the points on the board.
“Obviously we don’t want to be that in position early in games when we’re down by a fair few points.
“But it is something I guess we can look on if we are down that we can just get back to playing the right footy, playing in their end and building pressure, which could be very beneficial for us.”