Skill improvement will come for Wallabies: Byrne

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Wallabies skill coach Mick Byrne admits the side’s skills left a lot to be desired against the All Blacks, but once things start to click, change will be rapid.

Former Australia flyhalf Michael Lynagh savaged the Wallabies’ skills on Sky after the opening Test and Byrne admitted there were times when skill execution was not good enough.

“When you’re talking about a dropped pass or a missed tackle they’re skillsets, and yeah, they weren’t up to scratch,” he said.

“When you’re out there as a group working on changing habits, there is a period of time when sometimes it’s not acceptable.

“And I understand that.


“But when you’re internal and you know where you are going and you know the areas you are trying to get better at, you don’t see that as a weakness, you see it as an opportunity to get better.

“I honestly believe that, when you’re inside, we know where we are going with it.

“We are not executing some of the things we’d like to but you know what, we are trying to get better every day.”

Mis-timed pases and some basic errors cost the Wallabies dearly on the scoreboard and Byrne said he could sympathise with fans, but was adamant strides were being made.

“What we know, and it’s been no different in any environment I’ve been in, we see the improvement on the training field before it transfers to the game,” he said.

“If we not seeing on it the training field that’s when I get frustrated or start questioning what we are doing.


“But we are seeing huge improvements there and it’s going to be persistence that will start to transfer it out into the game.

“I understand people’s frustrations that they’re not seeing it straight away.

“Maybe that’s a thing of society, there’s an instant gratification that’s everybody is after. But this is just hard work that takes time.”

Though New Zealand are now the international benchmark when it comes to skills, Byrne said when he began with the world champions they had their own teething problems.

“If you go back, 2007 wasn’t a flash year for us trying to get things right,” he said.

“But certainly when it clicks into gear it happens and when you turn the corner you turn it pretty quickly.

“The key is perseverance and these boys’ energy to do that has been tremendous.”

The Wallabies take on New Zealand on Saturday in Dunedin, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.