Wallabies looking for composure and patience

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies have to learn from their final quarter against South Africa, vice-captain Will Genia says.

After leading by 10 points midway through the second half, the Wallabies conceded 13 points to three to finish in an unsatisfying draw against the Springboks.

Australia has won just eight of their 21 Tests since the 2015 World Cup final and Genia said their unravelling was in part due to the rarity of success in recent rimes.

“I think at times, we spoke about it as a group, we’re probably not used to being in that position, particularly this year, of being in front 20-10 against quality opposition,” he said.

“It's about just handling those moments better and it's easy to do in hindsight because in the moment that's when you are a little bit flustered.

“In those particular situations, it's going back to whatever's comfortable, whether it be a simple play to take your focus off the scoreboard and just the process more than anything else.”

Genia said maintaining that calmness first rested on leaders but then on the rest of the team.

“That responsibility is also on the senior guys within the group to make sure in those situations we're getting the right messages to guys, we're making sure guys are calm and controlled as far as their emotions and I think that's somewhere as senior players we could've been better at over the weekend,” he said.

“I think as senior players that's definitely our responsibility but then at some point it's got to be a group and team responsibility as well.”

Being in that situation, though, will only help them going forward, even without having the rewards at the end, Genia said.

“I think we'll just be clearer in our minds as far as what our roles, what our jobs are and what's expected of us in particular situations good or bad,” he said.

“As senior players we've addressed that, I think as a group as well we've addressed it.

“We've just got to make sure that when we are presented with those tough moments in games, we respond how we want to respond with clear minds as opposed to just being a little bit rattled.”

Fullback Israel Folau said patience was a key element in that, and tempering a desperation to score with maintaining a lead.

“We've got to learn to rely on our defence to shut those games out and it was a good lesson for us,” he said.

“We had a good lead, all we had to do was defend that and we would've won comfortably, I guess, without scoring any points.

“We don’t want to completely shut out but I think the (right) mindset is that we don't have to really score those tries to win the game.”

Australia’s attack wasn’t able to dominate as much in Perth because of South Africa’s success in the ruck and Genia said he expected more of the same from the Pumas

“We didn't help ourselves at the weekend because we were quite poor at the breakdown - we made linebreak, turnover, line break, turnover, and we couldn't actually build phases,” he said.

“I think they'll (Argentina) come at the breakdown pretty hard as well and look to attack us when they have the ball around the ruck.

“We've got to make sure we have a real conscious effort to tighten up those areas of our game.”

The Wallabies take on Argentina on Saturday September 16, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.