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Wallabies 'not miles away'

Sun, 03 Nov 2013 11:31
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We're not getting the scoreboard right but we're remaining competitive
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Despite slumping to their eighth defeat this year, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie insists they are not far from being competitive.

McKenzie's tough start to his tenure continued at Twickenham on Saturday, as his side allowed England to surge past them in the second half.

However, the embattled Wallabies boss was adamant that they are not far off the pace and just require better composure in the key moments in order to turn things around.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: "In terms of [going] backwards, people will judge that, but I think we're remaining competitive. We're not getting the scoreboard right but we're remaining competitive. It could have been a win, it could have been a draw, it could have been a loss.

"We're not miles away but we've got to handle three or four moments better, that's what it gets down to. That requires 80 minutes of concentration and 80 minutes of effort across 23 players," he added.

McKenzie said that although he was happy with his side's efforts in the first half, they just could not follow that up after half-time as England overhauled them.

"I was quite pleased at half-time because we really had to fight against the tide of the game. I thought we'd set it up all right for the second half but you go down a couple of critical moments.

"I'm disappointed we didn't get [impact] through the game. I thought we had a strong pack to finish the game. There were bright individual moments but as a collective we didn't handle that last period," he said.

One encouraging sign for McKenzie was the improved performance of lock James Horwill after he was relieved of the captaincy.

"I thought he was more vigorous for sure. He was in the thick of things. He won half-a-dozen lineouts and was involved in the game," he said.

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