Samu Kerevi hasn’t lost faith in the fast-paced game plan the Wallabies are honing for the Rugby World Cup.
However, their execution needs to be vastly superior to the error-fest, dished up against the All Blacks at Eden Park.
Inside centre Kerevi believes the 36-0 scoreline flattered the world champions but he didn’t want to detract from their smothering Bledisloe Cup display at the venue where they seemed impossible to crack.
Most of the Test’s statistics were relatively even, with one exception. Australia doubled New Zealand’s turnover count.
They gave the ball away 24 times as they tried to play at pace in conditions that didn’t suit and off the back of shaky forward foundations.
It was the opposite case when they trumped New Zealand by 21 points in Perth a week earlier, when passes stuck and some bold attack paid off.
Kerevi said that was the style they wanted to play but the mistakes escalated in Auckland when forced to play catch-up.
“Credit to New Zealand, they outplayed us. They had great guys on the ball and little turnovers here and there; they really made us sting with that. We were caught on the counter and that’s what they do,” Kerevi said.
“The scoreline blew out there but we really believe in what we’re doing – we showed that last week. We still trust our systems, both defence and attack.”
Kerevi, having enjoyed an exceptional 2019, met his match in physical juggernaut Sonny Bill Williams. The Kiwi has almost certainly forced his way into the All Blacks’ World Cup squad with his dominant gainline display.
Kerevi hopes he hasn’t played in his last Bledisloe Cup Test.
The 25-year-old leaves later this year for a three-season deal with Japanese club Suntory, but has left the door open for a return to Australia a year out from the 2023 World Cup.
“It’s going to sting, the times that I can’t sing the national anthem, running out there, the preparation throughout the week. I think I’m going to miss that,” he said.
“I’m trusting the squad for the next couple of years that they’re going to do what they do. Hopefully, it’s not my last time.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika after Bledisloe loss:
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