Wallabies reflect on brutal review following 'embarrassing' defensive performance

Wed, 01/09/2021, 07:32 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies scrumhalf Tate McDermott and backrower Lachlan Swinton have spoken to media from Perth.

Wallabies half Tate McDermott admits the time for talk is over as they look to eradicate their sloppy defensive performances ahead of the third and final Bledisloe Test.

The first two Tests have followed a similar pattern with Dave Rennie's men blown off the park after the break despite a strong first-half performance.

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This was evident to see in the second Test, missing 15 tackles during a second-half raid where the All Blacks ran in 36 points.

Having had three weeks to reflect on the performance, McDermott was brutal when asked about the showing on Wednesday.

“For us, we’ve reviewed what went wrong and the most frustrating part was our errors, our gifts in letting them back into the game,” McDermott told reporters. “It’s frustrating because whoever sits in this chair says the same thing every time we play the All Blacks. We need to cut that out or we can’t expect to compete with the All Blacks.

“We need to protect and respect the ball and on the flip side it's on our defence, it’s was no where near good enough in the second Test where we conceded 57 points. To call ourselves a tier-one nation and do that is really quite embarrassing to be honest.

“That’s one area we’ve got to lift, our scramble defence but also our set piece defence. I think hopefully leading into this third Test and today was heavily focused on this.”

McDermott strikes right on half time

He pointed to a breakdown of their system as the main cause for the lapse, suggesting there was a lack of trust between players at stages of the game.

“I wouldn’t say it was one individual to be honest, it was our system. It was more guys going out of the system, more it was not trusting the person inside and outside. As cringe it might sound, that’s the basis of our defence,” he said.

“We’ve got to make sure people are talking and if they are talking, you are listening. There were patches of that game, I’m not sure fatigue was an issue but it’s just after half time so it shouldn’t be, whether we’re switching off, that’s something we’ve looked at and have looked in the mirror at.

"...Whenever we have a loss, we’re always looking at ourselves and where we need to improve, what went wrong. Dave’s very thoughtful with how he does it, he’s a smart man but there were definitely sprays from all coaches, it wasn’t just sprays it was very constructive criticism as well,” he added.

“I thought the preview process went well but we can’t afford to show up and put in that same performance otherwise we’re expecting the same result so we’ve got to be better.”

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