'I want the boys to hurt,' says frustrated Wallabies skipper
As Wallabies fans piled out of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium after watching their side’s 24-8 hammering by South Africa, James Slipper gathered his troops and addressed them.
“I just wanted the boys to realise how much it hurts and hold on to that, really, and let that drive you into the future,” the captain told reporters post-game on Saturday.
“This one has to hurt a lot, I want the boys to hurt because, yes, South Africa were good, but I just felt like we didn’t really play much rugby at all.
“Them winning the collision really hurts me.”
The Wallabies had few winners on the night and once again failed to win back-to-back games, still with only one multiple-game winning streak in coach Dave Rennie’s 27-game reign.
Slipper didn’t deny his side had a problem with consistency but insisted there was zero complacency heading into the crunch encounter.
“We wanted to review last week … and be a better rugby team. At no stage do we think we’re the finished product,” he said.
“Individually, we just need to have a look at ourselves and I’m confident we’re tracking the right direction and we just need a bit more polish and just need to execute on the pressure.”
But once the negativity of the tough loss clears, Slipper’s side will see they’re one of four Rugby Championship teams with a 2-2 record as the tournament enters its final stages.
The Wallabies will need to break their 20-year Bledisloe Cup drought to win the title, but Slipper implored his teammates to come back to work determined to make history.
“We can be disappointed for a day or two, but at the end of the day we’ve got the All Blacks coming up in two weeks, and if you’re still kicking cans around at that time, then that’s not going to help anyone,” he said.
“I want it to hurt but at the same time I want to be better, we’ve got to be better and that’s what I just put as a challenge to the group.”
– Alex Mitchell
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