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‘We’ve got to be realistic’: Tate McDermott’s message for Wallabies fans

By Finn Morton
Tate McDermott and Angus Bell of Australia look on during The Rugby Championship & Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on August 05, 2023 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

The Wallabies’ losing streak under new coach Eddie Jones continued on Saturday afternoon after an enthralling battle with fierce rivals the All Blacks at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.


Australia looked like world-beaters during the opening quarter of the Test, and continued their fine form throughout the first term. But a few minutes into the second half, it was clear that the All Blacks were hot on their trail.

The Wallabies couldn’t quite hold on, and ended up losing a thriller 23-20 – courtesy of a last-minute penalty goal from playmaker Richie Mo’unga.

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But rugby, just like every other sport, is a results-driven business. Australian rugby fans want to see their team win, and they’ve been made to wait a while with coach Eddie Jones at the helm.

Australia has lost to South Africa, Argentina, and two Tests to New Zealand so far this year. The Wallabies have one more match before the World Cup, and it’s a big one against France in Paris.

It doesn’t get much tougher.

But this is a matter of perspective. Some fans may feel an all-too-familiar sense of doubt and pessimism, while others might be a bit more optimistic.

The Wallabies’ glass is half full – they’ve come a long way in a month, even if the results aren’t quite there.


Captain Tate McDermott is confident that they can continue to “make a difference” in their game ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

“I think for us, we’ve got to be realistic with where we are,” McDermott told reporters. “You look in that dressing shed, the boys are gutted.


“Like Eddie’s saying, we’re working bloody hard and we’re not seeing much for it at the moment. What we are seeing are small areas of our game growing and growing quickly, too.

“I guess from a fans point of view, they can see just that the rate of our attack has progressed from that South African Test to now. What they’ll see come World Cup time is our defence increase like that as well.


“It’s slow at the moment and it’s obviously not ideal from a fans’ point of view, but the players are here to make a difference and you saw that tonight.”

The Wallabies, just like the All Blacks, have just 80 minutes of Test rugby between them and their World Cup opener in just over a month’s time.

Australia, who will reveal their World Cup squad on Monday, will look to turn their losing run around against tournament hosts and favourites France.

Many fans would agree that the Wallabies are potentially heading towards an 0-5 start under coach Jones. But the Aussies aren’t panicking.

Asked post-game whether the Wallabies will win the Rugby World Cup, Jones had a very clear response.

“100 per cent. 100 per cent,” Jones said. “I think we will.

“If I could bet I would, but I think you get in trouble if you bet.”

It’s really quite simple. The Wallabies believe that they can go all the way in France, even if others don’t.

They’re continuing to build and develop the Wallaby way under coach Jones, and slowly, it’s showing signs of promise. The Wallabies’ tough loss to New Zealand on Saturday was a giant step forward.

Considering they’re on the perceived ‘easier side of the draw’ as well, there’s no reason why the Wallabies can’t shock the rugby world and make a decent run at glory.


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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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