Captain Stephen Moore has put the acid on the Wallabies leadership group and insists fixing small details is the key to avoiding a Test series whitewash against England in Sydney on Saturday.
The Wallabies are well and truly under the pump after England won the first two Tests in Brisbane and Melbourne to clinch their first series win in Australia then declared their determination to complete a 3-0 sweep.
Australia’s leadership has been questioned over their decision-making and failure to vary tactics when consistently unable to crack England’s cast-iron defence despite overwhelming possession in the 23-7 second Test defeat last Saturday.
“We’re down 2-0 down. Most people are looking at the big things and I think it’s actually the detail of the game, everyone doing their role really well that makes a difference at this level,” Moore said in Sydney on Monday.
“It’s just those tiny little things that might have been a little bit off on the weekend that we need to fix up.
“As leaders we’ve got to drive that and make sure our communication on the field is spot on, so that we know what we’re going to do in every situation.”
The Wallabies’ leadership group is Moore, Michael Hooper, James Slipper, Israel Folau and the injured David Pocock.
With skipper Moore replaced at hooker by Tatafu Polota-Nau after 55 minutes, Hooper took the reins for the closing stages in Melbourne.
Moore backed Hooper, who has been questioned in some quarters for turning down penalty kicks at goal in favour of continuing to press for tries.
However Moore made it clear the on and off-field team leaders needed to come to the fore in preparation this week, though he insisted avoiding embarrassment was not the major motivation.
“This is the time when you’d like to think that it (the leadership) comes out the most, be it the coaching staff or the senior players,” Moore said.
“We’ve got to show that leadership this week and make sure that we prepare as well as we ever have this week.
“That we’re motivated as well as we can be, because it’s another opportunity for us to perform. So that’s really the be-all and end-all for us.”
Asked what little things the forwards needed to work on, Moore said “just everyone doing their role on the field, so being in the right place at the right time.
“I think our lineout functioned pretty well the other night, so we’re happy with the improvement we made there.
“But we know we’ve got to keep developing that part of the game and the scrum as well.
“We need to be a bit more consistent in that part of the game and we’ve worked hard on it.
“I don’t think there’s a lack of work there by anyone.
“We’ve worked really hard over the last couple of weeks to make sure that part of our game is solid.
“But we’ve just got to keep doing that, we’re not going to stop trying to get better.”