Wallabies will bounce back - Ewen McKenzie
August 18, 2013
Michael Hooper was Australia's best player on the pitch © Getty Images
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Matches: Australia 29 - 47 New Zealand
Picture Gallery: Australia 29-47 New Zealand, Rugby Championship
Ewen McKenzie is adamant his Wallabies can turn things around in Wellington after their crushing 47-29 loss to the All Blacks in Sydney on Saturday.
The Wallabies led 12-10 at one point in the first half, and they clawed their way back within three points of the world champions early in the second half, on the back of Christian Leali'ifano's fifth penalty goal, before conceding 22 unanswered points en route to their six-tries-to-two defeat.
"I've been around the rugby scene a long time and a lot of you blokes should know if you look at results you'll see 70-point turnarounds in seven days, so you've just got to make sure you focus on the right things," McKenzie said at the post-match press conference.
"We'll tidy up our errors, we'll definitely focus on that bit, but there are other ways [we can improve]. Some of the things we did, with a little bit more precision they'll work quite well. We're not going to sit there and get bogged down and spin our wheels. We'll concentrate on the positives."
Pressed on what went wrong in his maiden Test as a head coach, McKenzie lamented his players' inability to keep possession and build pressure. "We were level pegging there for some time in the game, but you've got to respect possession," he said. "We had possession there at times where we did some good things, we made a bunch of line breaks, but we didn't treasure the ball enough and they were very good on counter-attack.
The Wallabies didn't treasure possession, Ewen McKenzie said
"We didn't control the ball and they were able to play and do some of the things they're good at, and you pay a price for that. But in amongst it there are some bits and pieces that we liked; there's some stuff there that we can certainly improve, there's no question about that."
Asked if he was likely to make widespread changes for Wellington, McKenzie replied: "You go back to the drawing board, I'm not happy with the scoreline ... there's stuff there that's just little processes that need to be tidied up, so that can be fixed.
"We'll have a good look [at selections]. We'd have a look any way; it wouldn't matter if we'd won or lost, I'd still be looking at the contribution of everyone."
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