Genia keeping eye on bigger picture

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies ended 2017 on a sour note, but halfback Will Genia says Australia shouldn’t let it black out the progress the team has made this season.

A win over the All Blacks in Brisbane showed the Wallabies could top the best in the world but that quality was a world away from their Edinburgh finale.

That the team could not give veteran Stephen Moore a happy swansong hurt Genia more than most elements of the night, but was also quick to look at the bigger picture.

“It hurts, just because you don't want to finish that way but you've got someone in there who's played 127, 128 Tests, it's just so disappointing to not send him out the way that he deserves to be sent out,” he said.

“On a personal point, I know I can speak for the rest of the team in saying that we were just really disappointed we couldn't do the job for Steve and he spoke in the change room, which is quite special.

“Honestly, we've made significant strides as a team, in terms of the culture of the group, in terms of how we want to play and continue to build on that self-belief moving forward.

“While it was really disappointing, I don't think we can let it overshadow all the significant gains we've made throughout the year.”

Belief was the buzzword on Sunday morning for the Wallabies, coach Michael Cheika saying his team didn’t have enough of it under adversity, Genia admitting that was a work on, but still adamant the mentality had improved from years past.

“In the past, we've gone out there hoping we can crack teams and hoping that things come off but I think we have a genuine belief and understanding in how we want to play,” he said.

“Just continuing to build on that winning mindset, wanting to win every single moment and just that no excuses mentality.

“You really have to live those, particularly when it gets tough out in the field, and after the game as well.

“I could stand here and come up with a lot of excuses as to why we didn't get the result (against Scotland) but they won because they played very well and they put us under a great deal of pressure and were able to capitalise on it.”

Cheika said the team needed to build on its mentality going into the penultimate year of a World Cup cycle, ready to welcome back a host of players who were nowhere near Murrayfield, for various reasons.

"We're over here with about 10 or 12 guys that aren't here but could be in in the mix for this squad without a doubt,” he said.

“Over the last two years we've looked to add some depth to our squad,  which we didn't have.

“We had our 27th debutant since the World Cup (tonight).

“A lot of those guys are in and around the squad. Maybe we are too young? A big thing for us is to look to improve our mindset.

“Get away from not fully believing we can do the job regardless of the conditions.

“I think we've worked really well about not using excuses for ourselves and taking the hard road as we have all year and that will come back and tell for us for sure.”