Wallabies prop Scott Sio says he always had faith the Wallabies could find the light, even after their darkest ebb in Sydney against the All Blacks.
A 40-6 half-time deficit in the first Bledisloe Cup Test looked like the beginning of a disastrous 2017 Rugby Championship, but nine weeks later the Wallabies snapped a seven-game losing streak against the All Blacks in Brisbane.
Sio said he always had faith the side would be able to turn their fortunes around after that game.
“We knuckled down to show the character of the team and how we'd move on from that game,” he said.
“I think the best thing about this group we have learnt from each game and continued to build.
“We didn't start the Rugby Championship the way we wanted but we improved as every game came along which is the thing about the growth of this team.”
Sio said the change came from inside the camp, not as a response to any external critics, of which there were many.
“At the end of the day those sort of things you can only change as a group and we wanted that to change it had come from within the group,” he said.
Australia’s next test for improvement is an injury-depleted Wales pack, a critical first leg of their three-week European tour.
This time last year, Wales was the first stop on a gruelling five-week Grand Slam Tour, that also included a Test in Paris.
Their UK trip this year includes just Wales, Scotland and England, with Japan the tour opener, and Sio said they had learned plenty from the testing conditions of 2016.
“Five weeks on the road last year was pretty tough and you saw it in the back end of the tour,” he said.
“We've learnt from that and we've had great planning around it with strength and conditioning and medical staff and coaches.”
The Wallabies take on Wales on Saturday November 11, kicking off at 5:15pm local and Sunday November 12, 4:15am AEDT LIVE on beIn Sport and SBS.