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'We had a pretty brutal review': Wallabies have digested loss

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

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The Wallabies went back to Australia with two losses from two attempts at Eden Park but with last week’s delay in travel by the All Blacks, Dave Rennie’s side have had time to review what went wrong while getting more days to prepare for the third test.


After conceding 57 points in the second test, most of the ‘brutal’ review has come around tightening up their defence as Rennie aims to keep the All Blacks to what he says is the golden mark of 20 points or less.

“We had a pretty brutal review, as you should do,” Rennie told media on Saturday afternoon.

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Ardie Savea overwhelmed by All Blacks captaincy
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Ardie Savea overwhelmed by All Blacks captaincy

“We did a lot of good things in that test, but not for long enough, and we made too many errors and gave their key playmakers time and space.

“We knew that, heading in, that would be fatal, so we’ve got to be better. To leak that many points, that’s all the focus, not on maybe some of the good things we did, so we’ve got to be better, and we’ve done a bit of work around that.”

While Rennie was first disappointed and angry at NZR’s decision to prevent the All Blacks from travelling to Perth, the sour relations between the two governing bodies isn’t being used as motivation for the third Bledisloe.

“I’m not sure about extra edge. We’re not necessarily using it as extra motivation,” Rennie said.


“The disappointment for us is what we knew is that the Rugby Championship was going to be played somewhere in the world on the 12th of September.

“The All Blacks committed to play us originally on the 21st [of September] and then on the 28th.

“Had they come over here, what we knew is that on the 29th, we’re all jumping on a plane and heading somewhere in the world, whether that was Brisbane or whether that was South Africa or that was the UK.

“From that perspective, we felt they should have got on a plane and come over and fulfilled their commitments, but anyway, they’re here now.”


The All Blacks will visit Perth to play the Wallabies at Optus Stadium for just the second time, with the first test played there in 2019 ending in a record 47-26 win to the Wallabies after a Scott Barrett red card reduced the visitors to 14-men.

The Wallabies stormed home in the second half playing a confident brand of rugby to run all over the All Blacks. With 60,000 capacity at Perth’s new stadium, the All Blacks could be walking into big stage test in front of a strong Australian crowd.

The All Blacks have lost their last two clashes on Australian soil, backing up the Perth loss in 2019 with a loss in Brisbane in 2020. When asked why it’s so difficult for the All Blacks to beat the Walalbies at home over the past decade, Rennie didn’t have a conclusive answer but said having Wallabies fans sure helps.

“Who knows. Obviously home crowds help, don’t they? We’re hoping there’s still going to be 60,000 in the crowd,” he said

“The [matches scheduled for the] 21st and the 28th [of August], they were both sell-outs, and with the game being a Sunday afternoon, I’m not certain how that will play out, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job while we’ve been here connecting with the people.

“I hope they come out in big numbers and there’s plenty of support for us. It should be a hell of an occasion. Optus Stadium’s an amazing venue.”


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