Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was quick to take responsibility for the Wallabies’ loss on the weekend but prop James Slipper says the players need to take ownership as much as anyone.
Cheika took much of the blame speaking after their 23-7 loss to England in Melbourne, saying he needed to be more forceful in his instructions to players ahead of a third Test.
“I’ve heard Cheik put his hand up and take a lot of the heat but us as players we’ve obviously got a role to play in the squad and in the game,” he said.
“I think it’s a team environment and we’re all putting our hands up, we’re all owning this performance.”
The Reds captain said the Wallabies wouldn’t be shrinking into a corner or avoiding the reality of the opening two Tests.
“I think England played exceptionally well and they outplayed us on the weekend,” he said.
“We’re not going to hide from that, we’re going to own the performance and we know it’s not been up to our standard.”
Slipper said there was plenty of places for the Wallabies to improve ahead of the Sydney Test.
“I think just across the whole board, from set piece ,from discipline, to breakdown to handling,” he said.
“I think we created a few opportunities but we didn’t take them.
“I don't think we put England under enough pressure. For us, if you look at the game as a whole, we can improve across the whole thing.”
Slipper said the team couldn’t be distracted by the possibility of an England series sweep, armed with all the motivation they needed going into the final Test.
“You don’t want a whitewash but our motivation internally’s pretty strong,” he said.
“We know what we want to do and we want to go out there and put that jersey on and do it proud.
“For us to go out there and worry about it being a whitewash, that’s something we’re probably not going to stand for.
“Our motivation doesn’t change [between games], we’re 100% committed to going out there and trying to get the win.
With the wider view of a series win out of their reach, Wallabies captain Stephen Moore said they simply needed to tweak the minor details.
“I think when we're in this situation, we're down 2-0, most people are looking at the big things and I think it's actually the detail of the game,” he said.
“(It’s about) everyone just doing their role really well, that makes a difference at this level.
“We’ll train that way so we can make those small improvements because these little things can have a big impact on the game.”