Rugby: Wallabies already eyeing All Blacks

Australia celebrate after beating the Springboks with a last minute penalty. Photo / Getty Images
Australia celebrate after beating the Springboks with a last minute penalty. Photo / Getty Images

The Wallabies' dressing room was thick with determination as much as joy or relief after their historic victory over the Springboks in Bloemfontein.

Determination to keep the ball rolling with a win over the All Blacks, who they haven't beaten in their past nine clashes, at ANZ Stadium in Sydney next Saturday night.

There was emotion, and undoubtedly satisfaction, but no beer-spraying and the talk during the players' presentations kept returning to the next step.

Coach Robbie Deans spoke about Australia jumping to second on the IRB world rankings. Then he spoke about getting to No 1.

An emotional Stephen Moore, who scored a try along with fellow 50-gamer Drew Mitchell, told his team-mates "you can't get enough of this feeling".

Players' player Ben McCalman, who had just completed his Test starting debut, immediately turned his speech towards the Tri-Nations series finale against the unbeaten All Blacks.

As veteran lock Nathan Sharpe put it: ``Next week's our focus now, we'll enjoy our company tonight and we'll get on the plane tomorrow and it's high time we put one on the All Blacks.''

The Wallabies know they weren't perfect in the 41-39 win, but they also know they showed more character than in last week's loss in Pretoria, where they also jumped out to an early lead.

In his quiet and unassuming way, captain Rocky Elsom thanked his players for their resolve, something he'd also been keen to mention at the post-match press conference.

"We couldn't have come under any more pressure than we did in that second half and that was the most pleasing thing out of the game, the way the guys stood up to that and responded to it," he said.

"We didn't make that many mistakes but we made them all at the same time and at crucial times in the game things didn't go our way.

"To the guys' credit they just kept fronting up and kept looking for it and kept at it ... without doubt that was the most pleasing thing."

The speeches over, the players and staff - as always, Kiwis included - linked arms and sang the national anthem.

They'll arrive in Sydney on Monday afternoon having decided to wear their suits on the flight home.

They mean business.


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