Byrne: Wallabies making progress despite All Blacks rout
The Wallabies are on the right track despite their Bledisloe Cup mauling at the hands of trans-Tasman rivals the All Blacks, according to Australia’s skills coach Mick Byrne.
Australia were humbled by the world champions in Sydney last week, beaten 54-34 in the opening match of the Rugby Championship.
It was an embarrassing showing from the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium as they trailed 40-6 at half-time following a forgettable first 40 minutes, highlighted by sloppy errors, poor tackling and horrendous communication.
The Wallabies – seeking their first Bledisloe Cup win since 2002 – rallied to make the scoreline respectable in the second half, scoring four tries in 17 minutes but the damage was done.
While Byrne acknowledged Australia’s skills were not up to scratch, he believes the Wallabies are making progress heading into Saturday’s second Bledisloe clash in Dunedin.
“When you’re talking about a dropped pass or a missed tackle they’re skillsets, and yeah, they weren’t up to scratch,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“When you’re out there as a group working on changing habits, there is a period of time when sometimes it’s not acceptable. And I understand that.
“But when you’re internal and you know where you are going and you know the areas you are trying to get better at, you don’t see that as a weakness, you see it as an opportunity to get better.
“I honestly believe that, when you’re inside, we know where we are going with it.
“We are not executing some of the things we’d like to but you know what, we are trying to get better every day.”
Byrne added: “What we know, and it’s been no different in any environment I’ve been in, we see the improvement on the training field before it transfers to the game.
“If we’re not seeing on it the training field that’s when I get frustrated or start questioning what we are doing. But we are seeing huge improvements there and it’s going to be persistence that will start to transfer it out into the game.
“I understand people’s frustrations that they’re not seeing it straight away. Maybe that’s a thing of society, there’s an instant gratification that’s everybody is after. But this is just hard work that takes time.”
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