Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has bluntly accused his squad of getting “bored” during the second half of Saturday evening’s tryless draw against Argentina in Newcastle.
Despite comfortably leading 15-6 in the second half, costly turnovers from Australia allowed the Pumas to make a late comeback at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez kicked three consecutive penalty goals to tie the scores, with the uneventful Test match ending as a dismal 15-15 draw.
An Australian victory would have put the Wallabies in the best possible position to clinch the Tri-Nations Cup.
“Really frustrated, really disappointed,” Rennie told reporters after the match.
“At 15-6 we had control of the game, we had chances to pin them in the corners. We had a fair bit of success from kicking, but it looked like we got bored of it and overplayed and turned the ball over and brought them back into the game.
“It’s disappointing, we should have closed that out, and really we’ve got ourselves to blame.
“We didn’t execute that well enough in the second half.
“It’s an area of our game we’ve got to be better. We’ve put a lot of work into our kicking strategy, and clearly it’s just not instinctive all the time yet.”
Wallabies fly-half Reece Hodge was granted an opportunity to retake the lead in the 78th minute, but his penalty goal attempt flew wide of the posts.
Reece Hodge of Australia.Source:Getty Images
“I feel like I’ve let the country down, so it’s a pretty tough one to take at the moment,” Hodge told Fox Sports.
“Obviously we were up 15-6 and had our chances to seal that game. I guess inaccuracy and poor game management from our game managers let us down. Especially in that first half we created a lot of opportunities, it’s just inaccuracy in the last passes and movements that let us down.
“It was 9-6 at halftime, but with the weight of possession we had it should have been 15 or 20, and it’s a credit to the way that Argentina defended also.”
The Wallabies will face the Pumas for their final Tri-Nations fixture on Saturday, December 5 at Bankwest Stadium.
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