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Playing 'catchup': Wallabies out to make up for lost time

Wed, 29/09/2021, 6:04 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White and back Jordan Petaia have spoken to media from the Gold Coast.

Wallabies scrum-half Nic White admits their three-game winning streak is a sign the side is slowly catching up to the lofty standards set by coach Dave Rennie.

Whilst self-admittedly not at the best, the Wallabies were able to pull off the 27-8 win over Argentina last week in front of a near-packed out Townsville crowd.

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It shows the steady improvements the team has made under Rennie and the coaching staff, a stark contrast from their disappointing draws to Los Pumas last December.

When asked about their growth, White admitted they felt like they let the coaching staff down last year after managing just one win from six games.

“For the ones we’ve got know with Dave and ‘Wisey’ (Scott Wisemantel), I think they're world-class and last year as a playing group we almost felt like we let them down,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“The detail in the gameplay is quite high and they drive really high standards for all of us and we almost felt like we let them down last year.

“It’s almost a game of catchup for us as a group, to catch up to the level they want us to play at. We’re certainly getting there but even after three wins, they’re driving a pretty hard bargain and have some pretty high expectations.

“We’ll continue to evolve and grow and work hard…the benchmark that they want us to go as a team is quite high.”

White puts the improvements down to greater patience within their game as they look to build pressure before trying to throw the ball around.

“We left a lot of points out there but the biggest area of growth over the last year and certainly the Rugby Championship, we create a lot of opportunities but we didn’t have a lot of patience,” he explained.

“We created a lot of opportunities in those two games (last year) and Test rugby is about building pressure so when we went for the killer play, you’d see a lot of turnovers.

“We want guys to pull the trigger and go for the killer play but it’s about not doing that recklessly. At times, we have to play field possession and in the right areas hold onto the ball and build phases.

“That’s just the respect that Test footy has and the opposition we’re going against, we’re going against Argentina who are extremely well drilled in their defence. You seem to dent the line but they have 15 guys in front of you straight away again.

“I think we’re getting there, certainly in the last month, we’re showing we are a lot more patient in the gameplay and trying to build a game.”

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Saturday's clash will mark the fifth straight week of Test match football for the Wallabies, who will enjoy a three-week break before beginning their Spring Tour against Japan.

With the Puma Trophy already wrapped up, White was coy about any changes to the side, however, had full faith whoever was picked would fit in seamlessly.

“That’s one for the coaches. We’ve grown the depth within the squad nicely so we’re certainly shown throughout the year we can bring guys in different positions,” he said.

“Whoever gets the nod in whatever jersey that is, we train week-in-week-out and that’s the beauty of the last three months is we’ve had a big squad training together in the same system with the same gameplay so we know we’ve had more than enough time the combinations will be sweet.

“We’ve got good depth and whoever gets the nod will do us proud.”

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