Wallabies halfback Will Genia says he and his teammates need to be held accountable if they do not maintain the high standards from their last match against the All Blacks in Dunedin.
Michael Hooper’s side transformed itself between the Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney to the Dunedin Test where the Wallabies came within three minutes of beating New Zealand.
Genia said there were no excuses for to not back up their spirited showing this Saturday when they take on the Springboks – who have five wins from as many starts this year – in Perth.
“It has to be the standard for this team moving beyond the Rugby Championship and what’s expected from the Wallabies moving forward ??? we’ve got to hold ourselves accountable for that now,” Genia told Fairfax Media. “In the past we’ve said that but we’ve really got to make sure we’re performing week in, week out.
“We’ve got to find consistency so that we can have that impact on the rugby community around . We’re not always going to win, so the biggest thing is if we can put in a performance they are proud of, it goes a long way to making sure we have their support.
“If we can transform from the first week to the second week of the Bledisloe and perform like that, we know we’ve got that in us.”
Michael Cheika will name his Wallabies side on Thursday and is expected to make at least two changes, with Tatafu Polota-Nau in line to start at hooker and Adam Coleman set to return following a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Dunedin Test.
With Stephen Moore staying in Brisbane to celebrate the birth of his new baby, Polota-Nau says he is ready to give it his all.
“Hopefully I can fill that void of the leadership that he’s taken up in the last few weeks of the Bledisloe,” Polota-Nau said. “I’ve got to make sure I start well.”
Cheika will have to decide between 20-year-old Jordan Uelese, who has just 28 minutes of Super Rugby to his name, and Tolu Latu for the other hooker spot.
Is there a risk associated with giving Uelese a go? Polota-Nau says absolutely not.
“He’s ready, because my shoulders are screaming every time we do a scrum session,” Polota-Nau said. “I remember when I first started, it’s quite daunting in that regard. He didn’t get chosen out of pure luck though.”
have had to work on some major problems at scrum-time this week after being dominated by the All Blacks and prop Tom Robertson knows the Springboks will make the Wallabies’ forwards pay if they are not on their game from the start.
“In the second game it wasn’t good quality,” Robertson said. “Everyone knows the Saffas are a big scrum team. They’ve got a few big bodies in there so we know if we don’t have our technique right in the scrum we’ll get pumped.”