Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is refusing to get carried away after Sunday’s thrilling Rugby Championship victory over South Africa on the Gold Coast.
After three tough losses against the All Blacks, the Wallabies bounced back in emphatic fashion, beating the world champion Springboks 28-26 thanks to a Quade Cooper kicking masterclass.
Third late win in 2021
It continues a growing trend and belief within the squad under Rennie’s tenure with all three wins in 2021 coming in the final minutes – following similar victories in the first and third Tests against France in July.
“It’s huge. (But) if ‘Hoops’ threw a dummy, we might not have needed a penalty late in the game,” he told Rugby Australia’s official website after the match.
“There’s a lot of character in this group which is why we’re incredibly disappointed with the All Blacks series.
“We played a lot of good footy in there and had situations where we just needed to be a bit a little bit more clinical and we could hurt them.
“There’s been so much hard work by so many people so it’s fantastic to get a result like this.”
Despite the upset victory, Rennie is not getting too excited with the performance, preparing for a fired-up Springboks side to bounce back on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.
“It’s a start. We’re not going to get carried away with this,” he said emphatically.
“Huge character and we’re proud of that but it’s only a start, we know we have three more games in the series and I’m pretty confident the Springboks will be keen to rip into things Saturday.
“We’re mindful of that but we’re excited to play against the best teams in the world, it’s great learning for us.”
Rennie pointed to their ineffective maul defence throughout the match, the source of all three of South Africa’s tries, as a key area to fortify if they wish to replicate their efforts.
“We stopped a few other mauls and forced them to play away but we have to be better,” he added.
“We have to do a better job. Our defence at maul has been good so we’ll tweak a few things and all you need is one person getting it wrong against a team like South Africa so we have to be better.”