The Wallabies admit losing the art of closing out Test matches is a concern ahead of their final Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks.
The Wallabies say they must find a ruthless, clinical edge or face further Bledisloe Cup defeat.
New Zealand have already secured trans-Tasman bragging rights for another year, but Australia are hoping to salvage a Bledisloe series draw from the wreckage of a disappointing Rugby Championship campaign.
After squandering leads in consecutive second-half collapses against the Springboks and Pumas, the Wallabies admit they have big problems to address before tackling the All Blacks in Brisbane on Saturday week.
Denied a record 19th straight Test win by Australia’s 12-12 draw in Sydney in August, the world champions rebounded to put the Wallabies to the sword in a 51-20 savaging the following week in Auckland.
This time, the trans-Tasman rivals collide a fortnight after the All Blacks had their world-record 22-match unbeaten streak broken by a late 55-metre penalty goal in a 27-25 loss to the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday.
“They’re going to be smarting off a tough loss to South Africa,” said veteran lock James Horwill, as the Wallabies departed from Mendoza following their deflating 21-17 loss to Argentina.
“We’re pretty angry as well about how we performed over here.
“We have to learn from this experience and that’s the most important thing – learn from the last two games where we’ve had plenty of opportunities to put on points and to cement leads, but we haven’t done that.
“We need to be better at that against the All Blacks.”
Coach Ewen McKenzie is considering personnel changes, but has all but ruled out recalling Quade Cooper following the enigmatic playmaker’s successful return from injury in the NRC.
McKenzie said he was more likely to draft Cooper and classy Fiji-born winger Henry Speight, now finally eligible for Wallabies selection, into the wider training squad in preparation for November’s tour to Europe.
“We’re coming off two losses now so we’ll go back to the drawing board and have a look and just see (what changes need to be made),” McKenzie said.
“We’ve had a group of players we’ve been using and it’s been competitive but we haven’t been getting the outcomes we want and now we’ll go back and take stock and have a look.”
Horwill said the Wallabies were well aware of the need to win back fans’ respect with a bounce-back first win over the All Blacks in six Tests under coach McKenzie.
“Obviously we want to win,” he said.
“We’re in the business of winning. The public expects us to win. We expect to win every time we pull on that jersey.
“It’s disappointing as a player and we’ve got to dust ourselves off. We’ve got a huge Test up at Suncorp.
“There’s no pointing fingers at anyone. We let ourselves down and we’ve got to be better next week.”