Wallabies' competitive mentality not eroded: Simmons

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies lock Rob SImmons says Australia still has the competitive mentality that took them to a World Cup final.

Australia’s dream run to a World Cup decider last season was built on a near manic aggression, something that was sorely lacking against the All Blacks on Saturday night.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said post-match their poor defensive effort was down to attitude, not skills, a sentiment echoed by assistant Nathan Grey on Monday.

Rob Simmons says the Wallabies still have a mental edge. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleySimmons said he didn’t notice any less of a will in the match on the weekend than what the side has had in the past, despite how things seemed, but admitted it was something they needed to analyse.

“It's a tough one,” he said.

“I didn't feel any different, I suppose I can only really speak for myself.

“Everyone out there wanted to go out and do their best so you can never question that but I suppose we have to look into it and see how we improve.”

The fallout from Saturday’s match is a far cry from the team that topped its pool through a superhuman defensive effort against Wales in England last year.

Rob Simmons is moving on from the opening Bledisloe result. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyTen months on, Simmons said he didn’t think this new Wallabies outfit had any major mentality problems, leading into what could be their greatest mental test, trying to break a 15-year drought in New Zealand.

“I suppose we're not going as well as we did in the World Cup but that's a whole different thing. it's a different team from then, we're moving on and trying to improve our game as well,” he said.

As for their mental state this weekend, Simmons said any external tags would be overshadowed by one single focus.

“You go in with a mentality to win,” he said.

“You want to go out there, do your best and you don't really play up to what the media says."

Michael Hooper still believes the Wallabies can win this weekend .Photo: ARU media/Stu WalmsleyVice-captain Michael Hooper said on Sunday ridding the camp of the disappointment that hung over the group on Sunday would keep them fired up on the way to Wellington.

“The main motivation for us is not having this feeling again inside the camp,” he said.

“It's not the outside factors that is going to be the pushers for us, it's us.

“We want to be better and we know we can be better.”