Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham confident Australian rugby can claw back to the top

  • 21/08/2017

Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham gets why Australian rugby is on the nose.

The All Blacks' crushing 54-34 victory over the Wallabies in the Bledisloe Cup opener extended New Zealand's winning streak over Australian teams at provincial and Test level to an incredulous 36 matches.

The last time any Australian side beat Kiwi opposition was almost 15 months ago - on May 27 last year - when the NSW Waratahs downed the Chiefs 45-25 in Sydney.

"We haven't had the results," Larkham acknowledges.

"Super Rugby and international rugby, we haven't been able to beat New Zealand teams for the last couple of years, it's disappointing as a coach and certainly something that we're heavily focused on.

"We know if we can get some results against New Zealand teams, either in Super Rugby or at international level, then crowds will be a lot happier."

Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham
Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham Photo credit: Getty Images

Little wonder fans are voting with their feet and only 54,846 people - the worst-ever rugby crowd at ANZ Stadium - showed up to see the Wallabies concede eight tries against the All Blacks for the first time since World War II.

"And that comes back to us," Larkham said.

"We've got to make sure that we're winning games. If we do that and we play the style of rugby that we want to play, then the crowds will come back."

Larkham does see hope for the Wallabies, at least.

"We know the challenge for us coming out of Super Rugby is that everyone's come off a different base in terms of fitness," he said.

"We've spoken about this before, about making sure guys are up to the speed of the game internationally, and we've felt that we've made some big improvements in that area over the past month.

"We've felt that this team are a lot fitter than they were in June and a number of players are a lot fitter than when they played through Super Rugby.

"So we're ticking a few boxes. We just need to make sure now that all the systems are in place, there's full buy in and that guys are executing under pressure."

AAP 

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