Australian prop Allan Alaalatoa has guaranteed the Wallabies will not “sugarcoat” their humiliating loss to the All Blacks in Bledisloe III.
New Zealand secured their 18th consecutive Bledisloe Cup title with a comprehensive 43-5 victory at ANZ Stadium on Saturday evening.
It was Australia’s largest defeat in 117 years of trans-Tasman rugby, and Alaalatoa assured reporters the players would not disregard the historic loss.
“As a leader, you just have to make sure we don’t sugarcoat anything,” Alaalatoa said on Sunday morning.
“We have to hold boys accountable, and everyone has to be better across the board.”
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie needs to address his side’s horrific turnover count and ill-discipline with ball in hand ahead of Saturday’s rematch at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
“Last night showed what happens when you don’t look after the pill and it showed what happens when you don’t kick accurately,” Alaalatoa said.
“While we want to bring intent and effort — that will always be there at Test level — we need to be accurate.
“You can’t give a side like the ABs any opportunity because like we saw last night, they will take that with both hands.
“We’re all gutted, and we’re all going to have that chip on our shoulder heading into our preparation and making sure we do everything that we can to be better so we can put a better performance out at Suncorp.”
Allan Alaalatoa of the Wallabies.Source:Getty Images
Australian debutants Noah Lolesio and Irae Simone struggled to prove their worth in Bledisloe III, but Alaalatoa was confident his Brumbies teammates would bounce back.
“I’ve been involved with them for the last couple of years, and I know what they’re like and I know their character,” he said.
“It was a special moment for them, seeing all the hard work they’ve put in to earn their starting jerseys. I was just gutted that we couldn’t put on a performance for them and for the milestone they’ve hit.
“To see them gutted on their debut, it shows that it means something to the team. They’re not just happy putting on the jersey … I think that’s great to see.
“That initial feeling of boys being gutted, being devastated is good.”
Following the loss, Rennie pleaded for Australian rugby fans to be patient as the Wallabies set about rebuilding their line-up.
“We’re five-or-six weeks into a four-year campaign,” Rennie said.
“We’re gutted about the result, and I must admit the first game in Wellington, I was nervous about an All Black performance that would find us under pressure, but we showed a lot of character that night.
“All I can say is we’re going to keep working hard, we think we’ve got some good kids coming through, we need to respond immediately.”
But Australian horse trainer Richard Freedman has warned the latest Bledisloe demolition could have a detrimental impact on the future of the sport.
“It’s another dagger in the heart for rugby,” Freedman said on Channel 9’s Sports Sunday.
“The more poorly the national team goes, the more kids are going to say, ‘I’m going to play AFL or rugby league’.
“It just continues to bleed that sport to death.”
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