Wallabies can't go backwards against Springboks

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Anything less than an improved Wallabies performance against the Springboks would be a step backwards for the side, backrower Ned Hanigan says.

For Hanigan the second Bledisloe Test was just as painful as the opener, though the margin looked more positive for most.

“Being so close and just letting it go, you don't really know whether it's better to lose like that or get flogged, you're still losing,” he said.

“We've reviewed that week a little bit and then looking forward to this week, just got to fix up a few things.

No progress would be a step back for the Wallabies. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley“They're easy fixes, which is a confidence boost for us, but it's a bit of a similar feeling but we're happy we're growing as a team.

“I guess in this particular competition if you have one good performance (one) week and you don't get better week-to-week, you're falling behind.

"You might as well be going backwards.”

Overcoming a regenerated Springboks side will not be a straightforward task for the Wallabies, with the South Africans yet to lose in 2017.

Since 2014, just one clash between these two sides has been decided by more than a converted try - a 28-10 Springboks win in Cape Town - but neither has given up a home Test since the Wallabies lost in Brisbane in 2013.

Flyhalf Bernard Foley said the gauntlet had been laid down to each player to ensure they didn’t let the progress in Dunedin slip.

“I think that's probably been a hurdle or something of Wallaby teams in the past, is not being able to be consistent,” he said.

“We've definitely spoken (about) that and challenged every player to go up a level from where he was in Dunedin.”

Bernard Foley says they have to stifle Elton jantjies in Perth. photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyFoley’s opposite number, Elton Jantjies, has begun to find his form at Test level and the Wallabies 10 said Australia had to stifle the dynamic South African in Perth.

“For us shutting him down is not allowing him momentum, doing the job up front, pushing him backwards and that probably takes down his time and space,” he said.

Foley said the Wallabies were starting to find more of the balance they’ve been looking for in attack.

“That's something we're continuing to work on and something we can keep helping each other out, myself, Will (Genia), KB (Kurtley Beale) and getting the team in a really good position and keeping that balance across all facets of  the game,” he said.

“For us, the games ebb and flow through what's required and what's needed but we go in there with a pretty clear plan that we want to play attacking and be aggressive in our mindset.”

The Wallabies take on South Africa in Perth on Saturday night, kicking off at 6pm AWST, 8pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, Win and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.