MELBOURNE — Bad habits? The Wallabies have a few.
Addressing some of the issues inherent in their game has been central to Australia’s preparation for Bledisloe I in Melbourne, where they will not only seek a first win for 2023 under returning coach Eddie Jones, but will also attempt to erasing the memory of last year’s drama. final at Marvel Stadium.
Although there is no sign of French referee Mathieu Raynal – the man who made the infamous time-wasting call – the Wallabies’ disciplinary work has continued since that decision; they have already lost both the penalty tally, as well as the Tests themselves, to the Springboks and Pumas this season.
“Discipline is something I feel like I talk about a lot, I guess in our sport the referee has a pretty tough job officiating the game, and for us we always seem to be on the wrong side,” said Wallabies coach James. Slipper said after posing alongside All Blacks skipper Ardie Savea near the Yarra River in the heart of Melbourne.
“And it’s up to us as players, we’ve talked about it, but it’s happening again and that’s probably the problem. But we’ve solved it, we’ve coached it, we have to see that transfer in the game. .”
With the Wallabies ejected from the paddock in Pretoria, it was a late TMO interjection that gave the Pumas one last chance to steal victory in Sydney a fortnight ago, which the visitors did with a try at the 80th minute of Juan Martin Gonzalez.
In addition to their continued indiscipline, the Wallabies are also struggling to dwell on their mistakes, said Jed Holloway, the back rower revealing that Jones was also trying to bring about a change in mentality.
“I think we got stuck being disappointed in ourselves once a mistake or something was made, and we [internalizing that] and missing an opportunity to make amends for those habits,” Holloway said Thursday.
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“So it’s more about acknowledging that in ourselves and making sure that we put the team first in any case like this. Because as rugby players you do. a lot of times, whether it’s the lineout or a skill mistake or you miss a tackle, you just sit there and go “f—” and he’s just trying to break us out of those habits and to go ‘team first, what’s next, I have to sprint and get into line D’.
“So just acknowledging that and making sure he sees a reaction, and he definitely let us know if he didn’t see it in training.”
Jones surprised the selection on Thursday by appointing Carter Gordon as fly-half, throwing the 22-year-old point guard into the deep end for what will be his back-to-back debut.
All Blacks skipper Savea, who replaces Sam Cane on rest, said he was impressed with Gordon and was also aware of a photo of the two of them together on a previous visit to New Zealand in Australia that was doing the rounds. social networks.
Although he did not directly refer to his infamous stabbing gesture following a small fight with Gordon during the Super Round in Melbourne directly – an act which earned him a one-week suspension – Savea admitted that he probably came out on the wrong side of this little battle.
“Yes I [saw] that, I tried to push the link but it did not allow me to go there. But I [saw] what was photography like in 2016,” Savea asked.
“He can [play], he showed it during the Super Rugby. i tried to break it [with] the Canes in Melbourne and probably finished second. But that’s what I like about him, he doesn’t back down, he’s young but he’s not scared or afraid of a challenge.
“So it’s something we have to watch and we know he’s going to attack the line and play his game and it’s something we hope we can undo.”
On whether last year’s defeat in Melbourne, and specifically Raynal’s decision, still hurt, Slipper said the key is to learn from that incident and make sure it doesn’t happen again. more.
And, as Holloway explained, there’s no point dwelling on it now.
“Every time you don’t get the result, it will always hurt you,” he said. “And I guess in the way that we kind of messed up that game it hurts a bit more. So for us, hopefully we can play a game that’s on our terms, we don’t have the referee who comes in and decides that at the end.
“But it was a great game to be in, we love playing in Melbourne, the crowd was amazing last year and we expect the same tomorrow.”