Wallabies players simply weren't working hard enough across their two latest Bledisloe Cup defeats, halfback Will Genia says. And Genia believes long-suffering Australian rugby fans are entitled to ask why.
The Wallabies are still licking their wounds after losing the trans-Tasman series for the 16th consecutive year, an outcome that has put the methods of Michael Cheika and his defence coach Nathan Grey under the microscope once again.
They will look to right some wrongs in Saturday night's Rugby Championship clash against South Africa at Suncorp Stadium.
But Genia said players had to shoulder some of the blame, admitting some weren't doing their "individual jobs" and were throwing out the team's defensive alignments in the process.
"We did it well for 40 minutes ... it's just moments of lapses and in concentration that lets us down," Genia told reporters on Tuesday.
"In the heat of the battle, not listening to that voice in your head which tells you to give up or not chase, it's just things like that. In some of the reviews we have done, if we work half a second harder or half a step earlier we (will) go a long way to solving those problems in turnover D."
Genia conceded it was "fair enough" for supporters to ask why such lapses keep on occurring, given the current team isn't exactly short on experience or ability.
"I guess the important thing is that as individuals we are asking those questions (as well)," he said.
"The biggest thing for us is that we just have guys who are - in moments during games - just not doing their jobs. Whether that is role clarity or knowledge in not understanding the detail, we are just trying to figure that out."
Lock Izack Rodda believed fatigue was also a factor, although he dismissed theories that players were over-trained heading into the Bledisloe Cup opener.
"It's definitely not a confidence thing. It was a tough series, they're a good team," Rodda said.
"In patches the boys played really well... (but) it's definitely hard to watch when you see yourself there and you just look like you're going that one pace. But it's also good you can address that for the next game."