Bledisloe Cup rugby: Wallabies coach Dave Rennie reveals where his team went wrong against the All Blacks

Sport|Rugby

The All Blacks put in an improved performance to topple the Wallabies 27-7. Video / Sky Sport

There was no mystery to where the Wallabies felt they lost the second Bledisloe test, with coach Dave Rennie blaming poor defence and sloppy ball retention as the key sources.

In Wellington the Wallabies brought line speed, accuracy and strong individual tackling. In Auckland, they didn’t apply enough pressure, missed too many individual tackles and paid the price.

They also lost too much turnover ball and failed to look after their own possession with too many loose carries.

And that was it. Rennie felt those aspects were the ones that cost his side the chance to make history by winning at Eden Park for the first time since 1986.

“Tackle percentage,” said Rennie of where it went wrong. “Last week we tackled really well and made minimal mistakes. Today we turned the ball over a lot and missed too many tackles and individual tackling was poor and we got put under some heat because of that.

“They scored a couple of quick tries and we had a couple of opportunities that we couldn’t finish. You just can’t gift the All Blacks that much ball. They have too many athletes who can hurt you. I think right across the board we weren’t as sharp as last week and gave them a lot of opportunity.”

Caleb Clarke in action against the Wallabies. Photo / Dean Purcell
Caleb Clarke in action against the Wallabies. Photo / Dean Purcell

One of those athletes who hurt the Wallabies was Caleb Clarke and Rennie was troubled by some of the decision-making that led to aimless kicks being sent down the throat of the blockbusting All Blacks wing.

“We didn’t want to give them time and space so we wanted things to be competitive or find space in behind them as we did in Wellington. Caleb Clarke bringing the ball back was a handful. Some of our options weren’t great.

“You have got to keep putting the All Blacks under pressure, they are a fit side with a lot of athletes and they can hurt you if you turn the ball over. They reefed a bit of ball out of our hands, so a few soft turnovers.

“I am pretty confident that in two weeks we will be a better side. We have got to be better. The All Blacks are a good side, they don’t lose many tests anywhere. They are going to lose here [Eden Park] one day and we were hoping it was going to be this Sunday.”

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie talks with Nic White after the second Bledisloe Cup test. Photo / Photosport
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie talks with Nic White after the second Bledisloe Cup test. Photo / Photosport

Clearly, the Wallabies didn’t want to make the mistake of previous teams at Eden Park and hang off the All Blacks and not match them physically.

It was apparent that the Wallabies didn’t want to show any sense of weakness or vulnerability and looked to make a few statements to confirm that.

Several times in the first 60 minutes Beauden Barrett was hit late after he’d kicked, similar to last week when Richie Mo’unga copped a few late shots, too.

It looked pre-meditated especially as the chief perpetrator was Wallabies No 8 Harry Wilson, but Rennie laughed off any suggestion if was deliberate.

“Harry is a big man and if a big man gets anywhere near a little man he wants to have a crack at him.

“There is no plan around targeting their little men. If you can put pressure on them, then you do and if you have guys like Barrett and Mo’unga who play pretty flat to the line, they are going to get knocked down a bit.”

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