Wallabies must ignore "voices" in head to turn form around: Genia

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Will Genia says the key to the Wallabies getting back in the winner's circle is not listening to little voices in their heads. Or the bad ones, anyway.

Ahead of Australia's critical clash with South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday Genia echoed the sentiments of Israel Folau by saying the focus was on eliminating the "lapses" in concentration that had sank them in two Bledisloe Cup games last month.

The Wallabies were in the fight at halftime in both of their opening two Tests but were blown off the park by the Kiwis in the second halves, with nearly all of the All Blacks' tries coming after Australian turnovers.

"We defended well off turnover ball in both first halves but then they just took us to pieces in the second half of both games," Genia said.

"It's just moments of lapses and in concentration that lets us down.

Genia scored Australia's only first half try against the All Blacks at Eden Park. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"In the heat of the battle not listening to that voice in your head which tells you to give up or not chase - it's just things like that."

Coach Michael Cheika identified turnover defence as the Wallabies' achilles heel after the Eden Park loss to the All Blacks and the star halfback said the team must find a "spark" when they turn the ball over.

"I think the most disappointing thing is that we aren't doing our individual jobs," Genia said.

"At times that then requires other blokes to do other people's jobs and then we get out of whack defensively and when we have the ball.

"That's been a big focus for us the last couple of days so if we can just concentrate on each individual doing their job we will go a long way to fixing some of the problems we are having games."

Asked why professional athletes are having mid-game lapses the Rebels halfback said the squad is still searching for those answers.

"It's always a fair enough question for fans to ask why when we are losing and not performing consistently," he said.The Wallabies have struggled to click into gear through the first two Bledisloe Tests. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"I guess the important thing is that as individuals we are asking those questions.

"We had a good meeting on Sunday as far as answering some of those questions.

"The biggest thing for us is that we just have guys who are - in moments during games - just not doing their jobs.

"Whether that is role clarity or knowledge in not understanding the detail - we are just trying to figure that out.

"If we can get guys who are doing their jobs every single time and not covering for other blokes it makes things a lot easier with and without the ball."

Defence is just one part of the Wallabies' game which must improve before squaring off with South Africa.

The team's attack produced just 25 points in 160 minutes of rugby against New Zealand and to the eye it appears the Australians are far from finding the groove which drove their strong form in the middle of last season.

"I think we are still trying to find out our groove and as I said it comes backs to guys knowing what their roles are in the system and then doing it," Genia said.

"Not trying to cover blokes - just doing your job and being where you are supposed to be on the field.

"Whether that's set piece or counterattack - whatever it might be."

The Wallabies face the Springboks at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday September 8, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and RUGBY.com.au radio. Buy tickets here.