Wallabies must improve

David Pocock insists Australia must improve from their series whitewash of Wales. [more]

Wallabies must improve

David Pocock insists Australia must improve from their series whitewash of Wales.

The Wallabies, who welcome the Lions Down Under next year, crashed to a slender 9-6 defeat to Scotland at the beginning of June.

But they made amends with a hat-trick of hard-fought triumphs over Grand Slam kings Wales.

Next up for Pocock’s men is the inaugural Rugby Championship, which kicks-off next month, and he is adamant that the Wallabies have to go up a gear.

“It was a good Test series against Wales and I was really pleased with the way the team bounced back from the loss against Scotland – that was pretty hard to take,” the Wallabies skipper told ABC Grandstand.

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“It was one of those games where you couldn’t fault the effort of the team. We probably could have done things differently and adapted to the conditions a lot better.

“The effort was there, we just didn’t execute. In the end we gave Scotland the opportunity to win and they took it.

“It was hugely disappointing but having the Welsh team a few days later, we didn’t have time to mope around, we just started preparing for Wales.

“To get up and perform the way we did was a really good showing.

“But we know how much of a challenge South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina are going to be this year. We know we really have to step up from the Welsh series.”

After winning the first Test in Brisbane with some ease the Wallabies were taken to the wire in the final two matches against Wales.

In consecutive weeks the Tri-Nations champions broke Welsh hearts with match-winning kicks at the death and Pocock was delighted with the way his side always found a way to win.

“Winning those tight games against a very good team, when you’re just trading penalties for long periods of time, is very pleasing,” added the Zimbabwe-born star, who has established himself as arguably the world’s finest openside flanker.

The Wallabies are currently taking part in a three-day training camp ahead of the Rugby Championship and have been bolstered by some of their Queensland Reds contingent.

With no Australian sides left in the Super Rugby competition they will have longer to prepare for the new tournament.

And while Pocock reckons that could be a blessing in disguise for the national side, he admits it is disappointing not to have one of the Australian franchises in the reckoning.

“It will give the Wallabies squad more time together but you always want teams in finals,” said the Western Force star.

“It gives guys exposure to a level of rugby they might not be used to – they’re probably the closest thing to Test rugby.”

On a personal level Pocock has been linked with a move away from Perth and is yet to decide on his future. But he hopes to have things finalised ahead of Australia’s opening clash with the All Blacks on August 18.

“There’s obviously a lot to think about. I have been weighing up my options and waiting to see what happens at the Force with the head coach position.

“In the next few weeks I will make a decision and make it public.”

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