Argentina

Wallabies far from full potential

Sun, 06 Oct 2013 14:53
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This is hopefully a stepping stone for us
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Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie says his team gave their first indication of how good they can become in the record rout in Rosario on Saturday.

Australia ran in seven tries in their best performance under McKenzie as they thrashed Argentina 54-17 to avoid the Rugby Championship wooden spoon.

McKenzie said it was a step in he right direction in terms of the attacking gameplan he wants to implement but felt they are still some way from where they want to be.   

"We still missed opportunities and made errors but we're getting better. You saw a lot of the spirit of how we'd like to play, there was some adventure there, we mixed the game up and we showed toughness,'' McKenzie told the Daily Telegraph.

"It was more characteristic of how we'd like to play. In terms of pattern of play we're only just scratching around the edges yet. There's a bunch of things we haven't got to yet because we're still trying to bed a few things down.

"I felt it was a better effort. In the end you've got to be able run, got to be able to bend the line, break tackles, and we started do all that.

"Fundamentally we want to run and carry the ball to the opposition and I thought we did that with great purpose.

"We didn't come into the game as the favourites so to come here and get a record score line was a very good effort.''

McKenzie felt the team benefited from a change in training and mindset in the lead-up to the Test.  

"We had great playing conditions ... we lost the toss for the sixth game in a row so we were staring down the barrel [but] we really played with purpose and showed some toughness at key moments," McKenzie said.

"We trained differently in the week and spent time talking about how we wanted to play. The mindset was good and that transferred to the pitch.”

He added that the tension was palpable in the dressing room before the game and said he was pleased with the way the players responded to the pressure.

"I said to them on the field afterward you can be confronted with the pressure and the nerves and you can shrink  or put it to one side and get out there and express yourself.

"It's pleasing that they expressed themselves in the face of a fair bit of pressure rather than shrink and say it's all too hard so I was quite pleased with the character shown.''

Captain James Horwill said it was a perfect way to end a dreadful campaign that was rife with on and off-field problems.

"Sometimes you need a game like that where you need things to come off and things go your way. I am very proud of the way the group went about their work, especially this week. It is really, really pleasing to get a result on the scoreboard such as that one," he said.

"It's good to be a part of history I guess and it is now a stepping stone for us to hopefully build forward.

"We have the All Blacks in two weeks and then a five-week European tour, so this is hopefully a stepping stone for us."

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