Wallabies don't have 'mental block' about Loftus

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 00:56

REACTION: The Wallabies denied they have a 'mental block' about playing at Loftus Versfeld.

This came after the Australians were held out by a desperate South Africa, to suffer a narrow 10-18 defeat in Pretoria on Saturday.

Australia have played South Africa there seven times at Loftus and lost all seven, including a 61-22 thrashing 19 years ago.

But captain and hooker Stephen Moore said there was no mental block about Loftus, a Springbok stronghold.

"Absolutely not," he stressed.

"Previous results there had nothing to do with our performance in this match.

"Our shape was a little bit out - the outcome had nothing to do with playing at Loftus. That is peripheral."

Australia coach Michael Cheika, recently accused of being in charge of the worst Wallabies team of all time by former New Zealand handler Graham Henry, lamented wasted scoring opportunities.

"Had we taken them, especially when we dominated the second half, we would have won the game," he said.

Wing and long-range goal-kicker Reece Hodge missed three shots at the posts after centre Bernard Foley slotted a penalty and a conversion from shorter distances.

In a tight defensive struggle, the boot of Morné Steyn proved the difference between the two sides - as the veteran flyhalf piloted four penalty goals and two drop-goals to register all of the home side's points.

The Wallabies scored the lone try of the contest, to prop Scott Sio in the opening quarter of the match, but failed to keep the scoreboard ticking over and ultimately would fall frustratingly short of a maiden win at the notorious venue.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 18 August 2017
Western Province v Golden Lions 17h00 Newlands
Sat, 19 August 2017
Australia v New Zealand 10h00 ANZ Stadium
Blue Bulls v Free State Cheetahs 12h05 Loftus Versfeld
South Africa v Argentina 15h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Sun, 20 August 2017
Griquas v Pumas 12h30 Kimberley
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
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Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5