Wallabies: Coach Dave Rennie reflects on ‘mixed bag’ Rugby Championship

Dylan Coetzee

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie reflected on an inconsistent Rugby Championship campaign that saw his side finish third after their final round 40-14 loss to the All Blacks.

Rennie’s men achieved mixed results, winning one and losing one apiece against South Africa and Argentina, including a record defeat to Los Pumas in Round Two.

The Wallabies deserved the same record against the All Blacks but were denied by a late time-wasting call in Melbourne in Bledisloe I.

Inconsistency

Rennie admits the Wallabies were inconsistent throughout the competition, splitting the results in half with three good and three bad performances.

“It was a mixed bag, wasn’t it?” admitted coach Dave Rennie. “We had a couple of good performances in there. Maybe three good performances and three under par.”

Rennie believes his young team will only improve, which is the goal heading to next year’s World Cup in France.

“It’s a tough tour but as we’ve talked about we need to play a lot of footy,” he told Sydney Morning Herald. “We’ve got a lot of young men who the more we play, the better they will be heading into a World Cup year.

“If you go into a World Cup and you have a great performance one week and a poor one the next, then you’re out. They’re the shifts we need to make.”

Adaptive to new leadership

The Wallabies had to navigate their legendary captain Michael Hooper stepping away from the game before the start of the tournament for mental health reasons.

Front-row James Slipper stepped up into the role very well and grew as a leader throughout the Rugby Championship. With the World Cup in mind, the veteran wants his side to strive for more consistency.

“There’s plenty of hope. The confidence is in the group, definitely,” Slipper said. “I think our biggest aspect we need to improve on is the consistency. We manage to put in a good performance and then back it up with a poor one. We do that regularly. That’s probably something we need to really work on because you can’t do that at a World Cup.”

READ MORE: Ian Foster: All Blacks coach ‘proud’ of unique Rugby Championship title