'Bloody hurts' - Hooper desperate to avoid All Blacks clean sweep
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper says it “bloody hurts” to lose, and declared the team wants to produce a complete performance in Perth on Sunday as they seek to avoid a Bledisloe Cup clean sweep.
The 57-22 result in the second Test was particularly soul destroying for the Wallabies, who trailed by just six points early in the second half before capitulating.
The Wallabies have had plenty of time to stew over that performance after New Zealand Rugby initially refused to fly over to Perth for the third Test, which also doubles as a Rugby Championship fixture.
The match was eventually rescheduled from August 28 to this Sunday, but relations between the two rugby powerhouses remain strained.
Hooper is determined to ensure the Wallabies come up trumps this Sunday in front of a crowd of around 60,000 fans at Optus Stadium.
“It bloody hurts (to lose),” Hooper said.
“When you have a defeat you want to get back on the park really quick, which is what’s been tricky about this block because it seems like a long time since we’ve been able to get on the field and turn things around.
“That’s been hard. But you’ve got to try to shake the hurt feeling and turn it into motivation. Once the result’s done, it is done. You can’t change the past.”
Hooper knows that perfection in sport isn’t possible, but he’s calling on his squad to put in a ‘complete’ display.
“When you talk about a complete performance, you don’t look for perfection. You’re never going to get perfection in any Test match,” Hooper said.
“But you’ve got to stay in the fight, and go toe to toe with a team like this.
“The ability to stay on our focus points is critical. That’s where we let it slide in the last game.
“We reviewed that to about a 12 or 13-minute block, where the game was w on and lost.”
With lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto an d centre Hunter Paisami both returning home for paterni ty leave, World Cup Wallabies Samu Kerevi and Izack Rodda have been named for their highly-anticipated returns.
“They’re two big bodies – you forget how big both of those guys were,” Hooper said.
“They were both part of the fixture here two years ago (when we beat the All Blacks 47-26), so there’s some good memories from then.”
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