It’s what we do from here : Deans

The Wallabies arrived in Johannesburg, the city of gold, seeking to create another golden moment by wining successive rugby Tests in South Africa for the first time in 45 years.

But all they found was fool’s gold, enduring the biggest Test loss in Australian rugby history, 53-8, which surpassed the 61-22 defeat at the hands of the Springboks in Pretoria in 1997, writes Bret Harris in The Australian newspaper.

The Australians did not fool themselves by thinking they could win at Ellis Park for the first time since 1963, but they would have been fooling themselves if they thought they could win by playing the way they did.

“A Test loss is a Test loss,” a deeply disappointed Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said.

“I’m not too concerned about the numbers to be frank. It hurts when you lose. You can chase the statistics all you like. “It’s not dissimilar to our performance in Sydney (34-19 win against the All Blacks).

“Someone mentioned, statistically, it was the best performance by the Wallabies and yet the next week we were belted. That’s the way it is.

“I guess the only redeeming feature is that it is evident how much it took for us to lift the Mandela silverware. We achieved something and we have the opportunity to go on and achieve more.

“We will hang on to that. Obviously, we won’t be taking too much out of this other than the things we dropped off on.”

The loss was a huge turnaround from the Wallabies’ 27-15 win in Durban the previous Saturday, their first win in South Africa in eight years.

Deans made five changes to that team, although two were forced by shoulder injuries to second-rower Dan Vickerman and inside centre Berrick Barnes.

The decision to start Tatafu Polota-Nau at hooker instead of Stephen Moore was a gamble that backfired.

Polota-Nau’s poor lineout throwing continued from where it left off in Auckland a month ago, and it placed the Wallabies under undue pressure.

“We weren’t accurate there,” Deans said.

“The Springboks profited a lot from our inaccuracy without a doubt. It was as much about what we did as anything.”

The Wallabies had opportunities to score early but prop Matt Dunning was held up over the line and winger Lote Tuqiri dropped a ball with the tryline beckoning. But this week it was the Springboks who took their opportunities.

“Once they got under way they were very effective,” Deans said.

“They played with a lot of confidence, as you do when you’ve been suffering for a while and you start to get a roll on and you become very difficult to stop.

“We didn’t help ourselves to that end. Most importantly it was what we did with the possession we had and obviously the defence dropped away.

“We had some possession early. Looked threatening. Didn’t finish. The reverse of last week in many ways. It might have helped the mindset, ours and theirs, if we had scored early. It’s done. Done and dusted.

“They kicked us a lot of ball and we kicked it back to them. We didn’t produce any pressure from that. And with that lack of pressure they started to play.”

In their two previous wins against the Springboks, the Wallabies won the battle of the breakdown, but the much-maligned South African backrow of Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Pierre Spies completely outplayed the Australian loose forwards.

The Springboks backrowers used their running game around the edge of the rucks and mauls to get their team over the advantage line and draw in opposition players before sending the ball wide where the Australian defence was short.

This was how the Springboks scored most of their eight tries, including the Tri-Nations record four to winger Jongi Nokwe, who won the man of the match award for simply running the ball over the line.

“That threat has always been there,” Deans said of the Springboks’ backrow.

“If you allow th

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