A lack of confidence and no killer blow halted the Wallabies’ historic charge in Pretoria, and halfback Will Genia believes the pressure is on the backline to return both against Argentina at Twickenham.
Australia dominated most facets of Saturday’s tough 18-10 loss to the Springboks but, much to Genia’s dismay, couldn’t convert field position and possession into points – which continued their winless record at Loftus Versfeld.
“If we can take our points when they’re on offer, we know that we can trust our defence to shut them out,” Genia said.
“The onus is on us as a backline to execute a little bit better. If we can do that we give ourselves every chance of winning and winning well.”
The team has made no attempt to hide its disappointment at the defeat and has vowed to make amends in the final Rugby Championship fixture this year.
“There was plenty of space, just a disappointment that we left a huge opportunity slip,” Genia said.
“We’ve been saying it for a long time now that when we create opportunities and give ourselves chances in matches, we are just not taking them.
“By not executing those little things we are not giving ourselves the chance to score tries, to make scoring plays.
“We’ve got to keep working and stay tight. Maybe it is a confidence thing , individually or collectively as a group.
“Certain parts of our game we are doing well, certain parts we are not.
“And then we are not doing that consistently over the 80 minutes of the game – maybe (we need to) concentrate better in certain periods of the game.”
The familiar surrounds of Twickenham, for so long a graveyard for touring Wallabies teams, has been seen this week as a welcome fixture given Australia’s dream run at the ground as they progressed to last year’s World Cup final.
But Genia is cautious when discussing how much good feeling they’ll glean from the ground.
“It’s nice to come back and have those memories lingering,” he said.
“The other thing is we are under no illusions it’s going to be tough and we aren’t relying on it being a comfortable venue for us or that there is any advantage in that.”