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Wallabies focused on backing up 'special' performance

Tue, 09/08/2022, 6:07 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies travel to Mendoza to face Argentina

Fresh off a rollercoaster win over Argentina, the Wallabies have already turned their focus towards backing it up and maintaining top spot in the Rugby Championship as they prepare for the second Test in San Juan.

Late withdrawals, slow starts and injuries failed to derail their campaign as Dave Rennie's men produced a gutsy 41-26 bonus-point victory over Los Pumas.

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Given the circumstances, it was clear to see how much the win meant after the game, with hooker Folau Fainga'a echoing the sentiments to reporters on Tuesday.

“That’s probably top five (performances), it’s a pretty special one with the week we’ve had as a playing group and the courage the boys had to put that performance together in front of a sold-out crowd was special,” Fainga’a said.

“We’ve built very good depth in this squad so there’s a lot of confidence as well.

“When one bloke goes down, it’s just another opportunity for someone to grab that with both hands and take it.

“It just shows the boys have a lot of courage.”

The 27-year-old and the rolling maul played an integral role in the result, contributing three of their five tries, including a penalty try that saw lock Matias Alemanno yellow-carded.

“We’ve been putting a lot of work on it nailing down our detail and getting our small things right," he notes on their maul success.

“Dan’s (McKellar, Wallabies forwards coach) been a big influence on that and it’s been a very good weapon for us.

“The boys have been good at tuning in and all the other (Brumby) boys under Dan have chipped in to help everyone else out.

“At International level, set-piece is crucial and I think the work we put in during the week can help us through the line this week.”

Despite the heroic effort, the Wallabies were quick to admit there are several areas they need to improve on.

Once again, the side started slowly as Argentina rolled through to take a quick 13-3 lead after 15 minutes.

They also struggled with discipline, with scrumhalf Nic White recognising the need to limit their easy clearance opportunities.

“I’m not sure (the reason for the slow starts), that’s the question we’re getting through so we get another chance to have a look at that,” scrum half Nic White added.

“I guess it’s about getting into the grind of things and getting positive outcomes early in the game, flirting with the idea of having a crack whilst understanding the game can’t be won in the first 5-20 minutes but it can be lost.

“We want to throw some shots but we don’t want to be too reckless and give up territory too easily.

“…19-10 wasn’t disastrous after what felt like a pretty disappointing half for us. We turned that around and that’s going to be a big point is sorting out the discipline because there’s a number there that are just silly penalties. We need to force teams to exit rather than give them a piggybank up the field.”

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