Shattered Wallabies picking up the pieces
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is demanding improvement after the ruthless All Blacks put his side to the sword to retain the Bledisloe Cup for a staggering 18th consecutive year.
Hooper accused the “sloppy” Wallabies of slipping to unacceptably poor standards in the weekend’s record 5-43 loss, Australia’s biggest defeat in more than a century of Trans-Tasman Tests.
Prop Allan Alaalatoa on Sunday conceded the Wallabies were bracing themselves for a brutal team review with coach Dave Rennie.
“Obviously we’re devastated,” Alaalatoa said.
“The boys were gutted last [Saturday] night and even this [Sunday] morning. We woke up today [Sunday] and it’s a new day but we obviously have to accept what happened.
“Some tough learnings there for everyone that was involved so we’ve got to review hard today and make sure we move on quickly and understand our learnings and our growth area from the game.”
Skipper Hooper admitted the Wallabies’ confidence had taken a hit from the six-tries-to-one mauling and Alaalatoa agreed it would not be easy picking up the pieces ahead of this Saturday’s fourth and final Bledisloe Cup encounter for 2020.
“It’s never easy to put losses behind you,” he said.
“But as players and as staff you’ve got to understand how you can be better and make sure we have a good plan heading into this week because we’ve got another opportunity to rectify ourselves on Saturday at Suncorp.
“There was no lack of intent or lack of effort, but we’ve got to be more accurate in terms of our kicking, our chase line in defence.
“You can’t score if you don’t have the ball. We only built three or so phases and then we lost the pill, so our handling in those conditions, we need to be better there.”
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Young Wallabies flyhalf Noah Lolesio endured a rough Test debut in Sydney, but Alaalatoa said the entire team needed to be accountable for the embarrassing display in front of more than 25,000 diehard fans who braved foul weather to watch the game live.
“It’s on everyone. The playmakers can’t do their job if the forwards are losing the ball,” Alaalatoa said.
“In order to build pressure, everyone has a role in doing that and it was just different guys in different stages so it’s something we need to look at as a whole team.”