Australia need to improve mentally, says David Pocock

Andrew Baldock 21:36 11/11/2018
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David Pocock says it is “all about the mental side of things” after Australia suffered an eighth Test match defeat this year.

The Wallabies’ 9-6 loss to Wales in Cardiff was their first in the fixture since 2008 following 13 successive victories.

Substitute Dan Biggar’s late penalty saw Wales follow Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina in toppling Australia during recent months.

Pocock and company now head to Padova for an appointment with Itay next weekend, before a testing season finale against England at Twickenham.

“It is all mental,” Wallabies number eight Pocock said. “Physically, everyone is strong and fit. and it is all about the mental side of things.

“As players, we know that and are working on that. I suppose you are reminded how tough Test match rugby is.

Wales player celebrate their historic victory.

Wales player celebrate their historic victory.

“We are obviously disappointed. We were right in it. Our defence was good, but our attack didn’t fire as well as we had hoped, and that happens sometimes.”

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika added: “Our defence was excellent, and the effort and just the energy around the game was really good.

“But too many small errors – whether at the lineout at key moments or in discipline – key moments cost us and released the pressure valve that we had on the opposition.”

Cheika, meanwhile, played down any relevance of Australia losing to Wales 10 months before the countries meet again in a 2019 World Cup pool match.

“Everyone has got a different opinion on that stuff,” he said.

“My opinion on rugby is when you get to the game no-one is thinking about what happened 10 years ago, one minute ago. You are thinking about what you are going to do for the next 80 minutes in that individual moment.

“Yes, it’s in our nature to want to look at how this could effect that and the knock on like it’s a big game of dominoes, but it’s not really.

“You just turn up, kick off and it’s on for 80 minutes. When that game happens, it will be an individual moment of itself and it’s about who is best on the day.”

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