Wallabies warned consistency is the key
Australia’s first World Cup captain Andrew Slack said the strength of northern hemisphere sides would ensure this year’s World Cup would be much more evenly contested.
“It’s not easy and I think this is the toughest World Cup,” he said.
“There are five or six teams with real chances, so to do it three weeks in a row would be special. We are going to have to step up to be able to do it.
“Beating the All Blacks in Perth showed they can do it once. The key to winning World Cups is [winning] week-in, week-out.
“The confidence they got out of that, despite the fact they didn’t go particularly well the following week, they know there is something there they can work on. It is not as if they’re bashing their head against a brick well,” Slack said.
World Cup winner in 1991 Michael Lynagh said the Wallabies needed to have bottled their Perth form.
“I like their Perth form, I thought that was pretty good. If they can recreate that, we’re in good shape.
“I think our pool is probably one of the easiest ones. There’s Wales – No.1 side in the world – and Fiji, who are dangerous, but if you get through that, which you’d think we should, whether it’s one or two, you have three games to win the thing after that,” he said.
Another World Cup winner from 1999 George Gregan, who worked with the Wallabies this year, said the Perth win had been a shot in the arm.
“They beat them [the All Blacks] comprehensively, so that was what was impressive. But consistency is the buzz word.
“It is a matter of backing that up…you want to be building along the way and getting better and better, and once that pointy end starts, you are three wins away. You need to be reproducing that form in Perth, which we know they have,” he said.
James Horwill, the 2011 captain, didn’t think the loss at Eden Park last week would affect the Wallabies too much.
“They have been building nicely and obviously the game in Perth was the crescendo of that.
“The last game was a bit of a blip and there was always going to be a reaction from the Blacks. We probably didn’t have enough patience with the ball and allowed them to do what they do best.
“But I don’t think they should be too disheartened by that. They’ll keep building well. I think they will go very well,” he said.