Tuqiri confused by Wallaby collapse

Australia winger Lote Tuqiri hopes that time will heal most of the wounds from the Wallabies’ record 45-point loss to South Africa in a Tri-Nations rugby match.

Australia play New Zealand on Sept. 13 at Brisbane, with both the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup trophies on the line.

“We’ve got a couple of weeks now to think about it and hopefully do a job in Brisbane,” Tuqiri said Tuesday.

“It’s going to be even tougher, it’s going to be probably the toughest game we’ve played this year.”

The Wallabies trail the All Blacks by a point – 14 to 13 – going into the final and deciding game. But New Zealand has a far superior points-for-and-against total – New Zealand is plus 42, Australia minus 40.

The 53-8 defeat at Ellis Park in Johannesburg last Saturday was Australia’s second big loss of the tournament following its 39-10 defeat to New Zealand in Auckland.

Both the Wallabies and All Blacks have a 3-2 won-lost record.

“Back home now, a few days rest and back into it,” Tuqiri said of the Brisbane match.

“But hopefully everyone will be fighting to put their hand up to be able to be selected for that game, because it’s going to be huge.”

The veteran Tuqiri could not say why the Wallabies performed so poorly in Johannesburg, where they were trying to win for the first time in 45 years.

“We started OK and they just got on top of us, they just kept rolling and rolling and we just didn’t have much to combat them,” he said.

“They were just too good on the day. I really can’t put a finger on it.”

Sapa-AP – Rugbyweek.com

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