‘Defeat bloody hurts’ – Australia seek atonement

Planet Rugby

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is desperate to avoid yet another defeat to the All Blacks when they go head-to-head on Sunday.

Australia have already succumbed twice to New Zealand in 2021, with the second a particularly embarrassing 57-22 defeat.

They have once again seen their hopes of regaining the Bledisloe Cup dashed but Hooper hopes it is third time lucky against their arch-rivals.

Use it for motivation

“Defeat bloody hurts. Straight up, that’s for sure,” Hooper told reporters. “You’ve got to shake the hurt feeling and turn it into motivation.

“You can’t change the past, we can focus on turning things round and make it a win.”

Hooper has been pleased with aspects of their performances over the past two matches but insists that they have lacked consistency.

“You’ve got to stay in the fight, go toe-to-toe with a team like this, deliver what we’ve spoken about, where we think we can do damage to New Zealand,” Hooper said.

“We want a complete performance. Deliver throughout the 80 minutes. We’ve done some really good things on the field but just not for long enough and consistently.

“Giving away too much in a 10-15 minute period where we compound errors and we take our foot off the gas, that’s hurt us significantly against these guys.

“If we play at our best or near our best that forces New Zealand to play below their best. You’re never going to get perfection in any Test match.

“There’s going to be things that don’t go in your favour but the ability to stay at your focus points is critical. That’s where we let slide the last game.”

The last time New Zealand visited Perth, the Wallabies put on a show. They secured a record victory over the All Blacks following a 47-26 triumph and Hooper is hoping for a repeat of that effort.

“To have a game in the west, a big fixture like this, is awesome,” he said. “Two years ago seems like a lifetime ago.

“We played a really strong performance and kept the foot on the gas that game.

“The ability to stay on what we wanted to do was great. Fast forward two years we’ll be looking to continue that into the game, deliver what we have spoken about.”


This weekend: Australia vs New Zealand

Mark Smith and Adam Kyriacou from the Planet Rugby Show look ahead to this weekend's match between Australia and New Zealand.