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Wallabies using Bledisloe pain as motivation ahead of Eden Park clash

Mon, 19/09/2022, 6:11 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Argentina took on the Springboks as both teams looked to keep their title dreams alive

The Wallabies are using the pain from a heartbreaking Bledisloe defeat as motivation ahead of Saturday's second Test at Eden Park.

Dave Rennie's men went down after the siren against the All Blacks in Melbourne, with an 80th minute try to Jordie Barrett sealing the 39-37 victory.

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The decision to award a scrum for time wasting with 90 seconds to go was still fresh in players' minds, eager to learn from it and move on.

“There was a lot of disappointment straight away in the changing rooms after the game. The feeling was that we thought we’d played a great game and showed a lot of character, connection to work ourselves back into the game," prop Allan Alaalatoa said to reporters.

“There was definitely disappointment over the last couple of days but we sat down together as a group and with the coaching staff to review the game on Sunday and got a great understanding of how we can be better, especially heading forward into this week at Eden Park.

“There’s definitely a lot of confidence within the lads and the energy has been great so far. The boys are looking forward to a tough test match…We looked at that moment and see how we can be better, not only there (in the final minutes) but our game management throughout the game.

“I’ve never been a part of a Rugby game where that’s happened but we’ve learnt that in the process of making those decisions, we have to be better along with other leaders on the field at that time.”

Centre Lalakai Foketi played a crucial role in the finish, winning the turnover that gave the Wallabies the penalty on their line, seen screaming at flyhalf Bernard Foley before the whistle blew.

“There was a personal change at the end there so from a back’s perspective, we had the same people out there and felt like we had an opportunity to win the game there. We were so far away from the ref and the crowd was going crazy, we couldn’t hear anything,” he recounts of the final moments of the Test.

“‘Nard (Foley) was looking at the forward pack huddled up and they were just getting their call ready when we got the penalty and what we were going to do. I just think personal change and Bernard was figuring out who was on the field and what calls we did on our next move which was to kick it out."

The Waratah believes they need to 'harness' the disappointment with the Rugby Championship still mathematically possible with a bonus point victory and Argentina win.

“I think you look at the game and everyone in the environment is disappointed, we’ve just got to harness that and take it to New Zealand," Foketi explained.

"Every opportunity to put on the gold jersey is unbelievable and if I get the chance this weekend, I want to pay back the belief and trust in this group.

“You have great centres in the group, unfortunately, some are injured but I want to continue what they’ve been doing.”

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