Less talk, more action for Wallabies

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma says all the side can do under heavy criticism is ‘shut up, keep working and change the situation’.

The Wallabies were heavily criticised by World Cup winning flyhalf Michael Lynagh for their ‘non-existent’ skills after their 54-34 Bledisloe Cup skills, but Ledesma said they could only respond by improving.

“We just have to take it on the chin, we lost by (20 points) points at home,” he said.

“So, we just have to shut up, keep working and just change the situation.

“Anybody can say whatever they want and I think that he earned the right to talk about the Wallabies by what he did on the field, so we'll try to convince him otherwise.”

The Wallabies showed positive signs in set piece against the All Blacks. Photo: Getty ImagesLedesma also praised hooker Stephen Moore for his performance on the weekend, though it seemed like he might be one heading for the pine this weekend, with a strong performance from Tatafu Polota-Nau off the bench.

“I was happy with Moorey's performance,” he said.

“I know people talk about that (his form) but he did his job.

“The scrum went well, the lineout went well, I thought he defended well and there are expectations I have with Stephen that I don't have with Taf and the other way around.

“So  I think that for what I was expecting from him, I thought he did his job. That's, if everybody does his job, well we'll be fine.”

Moore has come under fire at Test level this season, after a mediocre Super Rugby season, but Ledesma said he felt the side’s former skipper was judged overly harshly at times.

“If it was for that, there would be a lot of guys being judged,” he said.

Stephen Moore 'needs to be challenged'.  Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley“I think that obviously he's getting older and everybody's concerned with that and people are pretty harsh on him and they wouldn't judge a younger guy with the same harshness that they do with 'Moorey' but it comes with the job too.”

“I haven't seen him down or whatever or changing the way he plays because of what everybody says and I was pretty satisfied from his game so people can say whatever.

“They're in the right to say whatever they think, so whatever.”

Moore is more determined than ever to help the Wallabies turn things around, in what will be his final Bledisloe series before retiring from international rugby, rating this among his most difficult challenges.

“The situation that we're in at the moment, no doubt, it's absolutely gutting to get beaten like that at home,” he told RUGBY.com.au.

“You pride yourself on how we play at home and that's really, really disappointing, it takes a while to get over that sort of stuff but as a player you've just got to front up the next day and get ready to work again.

“As much as you might be carrying it, you need to make sure you're fronting up positive and we've got another opportunity now this week and that's how we need to look at it.

“It's a good test of the team's character and resilience and resolve and all that sort of stuff and I've been really proud of the way everyone's bounced back.

“Everyone's hurting but guys have realised there's another job at the end of this weekend  the only option is to get back into it.”

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST LIVe on FOX SPORTS.