Moore ignoring external critics

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore hasn’t been distracted by external criticism of his form, in fact he says he’s not even aware of it.

Moore has been under fire in recent weeks, with the lowest throwing percentage among the Rugby Championship teams, but batted away the notion of external opinions when asked how he was dealing with the critics.

“Has there? Ok, well I haven’t really looked much at that,” he said.

“If you start looking at that stuff you take your mind off what’s important. There’s a lot of belief in the team.

“I have got a lot of self-belief, myself, about my role in the team and we’re just worrying about what we can control internally so anything else is peripheral.”

Stephen Moore is ignoring the critics. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyWallabies assistant and Moore’s coach at the Brumbies, Stephen Larkham, said criticism aimed at Moore was out of line.

“He's still regarded as one of the best hookers in the world,” he said.

“He had a super strong Super Rugby campaign, probably the best rugby I've ever seen him play.

“He came into the Test arena, I think against England everyone was a little bit disappointed coming out of the back of the England series and we've probably all carried that over into Super Rugby in those final couple of rounds.

“He's been very motivated and doing a fantastic job as a leader within the team over the last five Test matches, but particularly the last two weeks.”

Teammates and coaches have jumped to Stephen Moore's defence. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleySouth Africa captain Adriaan Strauss wasn’t buying into the critics either, jumping to the defence of his Australian counterpart.

“He’s an amazing player, a great individual rugby player and a great hooker,” he said.

“He knows how to throw the ball into the lineout, so that's definitely not an area of his game that's lacking and we know that they'll fine tune their lineouts and they'll be back tomorrow.

“They've usually got a good lineout so we've prepared for that and we expect that from them tomorrow.”

The Wallabies will face a stern lineout test against the Springboks, with experienced combination Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth starting for the visitors.

Australia hosts the Springboks on Saturday night at 8:05pm AEST.