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Rugby Championship
Wallabies lacked urgency: Folau
August 24, 2014
New Zealand 51-20 Australia

Israel Folau has panned a lack of urgency and poor defence for the Wallabies' latest Eden Park devastation. Folau was one of very few Australian players who could hold his head high following their record 51-20 drubbing by the All Blacks on Saturday night.

The superstar fullback, who ran for a match-high 150m, described it as one of the most disappointing losses of his career. Midway through the second half, New Zealand were 44-6 ahead and set to eclipse their biggest ever defeat of the Wallabies (43-6 in 1996) before Folau and Michael Hooper crossed in quick succession.

In the end, Steven Luatua dived over under the posts on full-time to post the All Blacks' highest score in a Bledisloe Test. The damage was done early as the hosts, smarting from last week's 12-12 draw in Sydney, continually dented a passive Australian defensive line and then pounced when lock Rob Simmons was in the sin bin.

The Wallabies conceded two tries in three minutes, the second just after Folau made a 50m burst into the All Black quarter, for a 23-6 scoreline, and the Bledisloe was lost for a 12th straight year.

"There was no urgency shown during that period of time when they scored those tries back to back," the fullback said. "That first half we had to really defend for a long period of time and when you're doing that against the All Blacks, eventually they'll crack you and that's what they did.

"Full credit to them, they played really well, you can't take that away from them, but defensively there's a whole lot we have to look at. They made some really easy yards up the middle there so we have to look at that. There's a bit of work to do."

But, like skipper Hooper, Folau stressed Australia could fix their problems in time to bounce back against South Africa in Perth on September 6. They failed to do that last year after back-to-back losses to the All Blacks, falling 38-12 to the Springboks in Brisbane.

"I think the scoreboard doesn't reflect how tight this group is," Folau said. "I know internally within the group there's been a lot of changes and the boys have been working really hard. We know as a group how much we've improved and that's all that matters. We have to pick that up and keep moving forward."

The Wallabies were humbled by the All Blacks © Getty Images
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