Wallabies ‘took a step back’ as clash with No.1 looms

The Wallabies aren’t beating themselves up despite back-to-back defeats on their end-of-year Spring Tour.

Australia beat Scotland by one point in their first round match, 16-15, at Murrayfield.

Another tight contest saw France beat the visitors by one point, 30-29, at Stade de France.

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In the second encounter, Australia had been leading up until the death when one last run from France netted them the match-winning winning try.

Then, Italy beat Australia at Stadio Artemio Franchi, 28-27, to end a 39-year losing streak for the home side.

Although Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White conceded his teammates were “gutted” and “really flat” while traveling after the loss, he said it’s no reason for concern.

“We weren’t where we needed to be on the weekend but we’ve shown that in the not-too-distant past we were pretty close to it,” said White.

“We can get back there pretty quick. A week is a long time in footy, as you guys know.

“We were pretty close to being three from three wins here on this Spring Tour, and the picture looks pretty different.

“We’re not sitting in there banging heads against walls and saying we’re terrible footy players and the guys make poor decisions, it’s just trusting in it.”

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Discipline, or a lack thereof, has been a regular talking point for the Wallabies all year.

Asked why teams are disciplined and other times not, White offered a lengthy response.

White cited a supposed desperation for individual players to make a difference, which was at times leading to penalties.

“I think sometimes it’s easy to be really disciplined when there’s not a whole lot of pressure on the side,” he explained.

“You don’t feel desperate to make a difference and look for a quick fix. I think you’re seeing a lot of these penalties come from good intentions, guys trying to get off the line really quickly.

“You’re seeing that they’re trying to make a difference at breakdowns but maybe going too far. Just spoke about trusting the system a little bit more knowing that if we stay in the fight long enough that we’ll get there.

“It’s not guys going out there and being silly. It is from good intentions, guys wanting to make a difference but going the wrong way about it.

“We’ve spoken about that. We were heading in the right direction and we took a step back on the weekend.

“It’s just about this week talking about going back to a good performance like in France – we had a really good game plan, we had discipline within that to stay in that, and we’re going to need to be exactly like that this week .

“They’re going to have plenty of big moments in the game. In those big moments, the big pressure, you need to lean on your discipline. Not only penalties, but to stay in the structure of how we want to play the game and getting it back to how we want to play.”

As for their forthcoming opponents Ireland, it’s likely to be another tough contest.

The men in green are currently the world’s top team and have scalped the All Blacks twice this year.

“I think we know what to expect from Ireland this week – they’re going to be good,” said White.

“They’ve been consistent. They’re going to be good. I think that narrows the mind for us and that we just need to focus on ourselves and make sure we’re good and put out a performance.

“If we’re not too focused on them and the outcome and we put out a bit of a less than per performance, we know it’s not going to be good enough.”

Australia plays Ireland at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Sunday at 7am (AEDT).

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