Wallabies stand-in skipper James Slipper is eager for his side to start better after a poor showing in the initial stages of games this year.
Australia welcomes South Africa for a two-Test tour beginning with a clash at the Adelaide Oval this weekend. The Wallabies come off a record loss to Argentina and will be searching for better form on Saturday.
Quick start is ideal
When asked, Slipper says he hopes his team can apply early pressure on the world champions. Australia will need to as they continue their struggle with injury and without captain Michael Hooper, who remains unavailable.
“That’s a really good question and, if I knew the answer to that, I guess I’d be the head coach,” he told reporters. “But I think it’s the way we train, the way we prepare. Preparation is everything when you come into a Test match, and I think out of all five Tests we’ve played so far this year we’ve lost the first 25 minutes in each game.
“It’s been definitely spoken about the start of the game, and hopefully we can put South Africa under a bit of heat early.”
Slipper knows opportunities at Test level are limited, and the name of the game this weekend is turning chances into points.
“It comes down to creating opportunities and then taking them,” he said.
“We’re a team that, especially in these last five games, we’ve created a lot but probably haven’t had the polish to put them away or take points when they’re on offer. For us at training, it’s been a big emphasis to take those opportunities.”
Growth in adversity
The temporary captain admitted that the Wallabies’ two-Test tour to Argentina was difficult, but the team would have only developed from the struggles faced.
“That Argentinian tour was one of the toughest I’ve been on,” said Slipper. “We had plenty of blokes drop out of the team after it had been named. We had our captain leave the group. So there was a fair bit of adversity but from adversity, you grow stronger and that’s where I’ve pushed the team.
“We get challenged every day, so it’s about turning up every day and trying to get better.
“In terms of this preparation it has been great. We’ve worked hard. We go into the game with confidence and that’s all I can ask for the boys and make sure that we do the jersey proud.”
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