Coach Broncan (AUS) - 'Wallabies not ready to deal with pressure'

Coach Broncan (AUS) - 'Wallabies not ready to deal with pressure'

Pierre-Henry Broncan, assistant coach

On the blueprint for Australia to turn it round and win the Rugby World Cup 2027:

"I talked to the young boys of Australia, they have a big opportunity to win the next World Cup in Australia. But if you want to win the next World Cup, you have to work during four years very hard. A good example today is the French national team. They prepared (for) this World Cup from the last World Cup in Japan, with the same team. 

On Australian club teams desperately needing to be exposed to more high-pressure games: 

"If you want a big difference between the Top 14 and European Cup and your Super Rugby competition in Australia and with New Zealand, it's the pressure. In France we have pressure every game, every game you have pressure because there is a massive thing about relegation or qualification (for the European Cup places). It's very important for the European teams. 

"In Super Rugby there is no relegation, you play just to win Super Rugby (which) is a very good thing but just between New Zealand and Australian teams. 

"You will see the next games in the World Cup, the quarter-finals, semi-finals or final, there will be massive pressure on the pitch. A lot of games, they will finish with a very close score between the two teams and the last five or 10 minutes, you can win or lose a game. 

"Today our team is not that (ready to deal with pressure). During half-time against Wales I was sure we were going to win the game. Ten points (the deficit to Wales) is nothing. But we start the second-half and we concede a penalty and that was it.

"We need to change that in the future, you understand."

On the Wallabies not knowing how to win tight games, largely due to problems in the club game:

"My games with Australia, we won just against Georgia but it was an easy game and a big score. The game in Dunedin (in the Rugby Championship against New Zealand) we lost 23-20, it was our game and Argentina (a 34-31 Rugby Championship loss) it was the same thing, we lost the game at the end of the game. 

"It's not just a (problem) with the Australia national team, I am sure about it. 

"Brumbies (Australian Super Rugby side) is a good way for the team (to follow) because they have a very tough team and they can beat New Zealand sides today. The other teams in Australia, it was very tough, very difficult for (them) to beat New Zealand teams. Sorry... but it is a reality. We need to change that firstly."

On Super Rugby losing a lot of its lustre: 

"Before Covid, with South African teams, Japanese teams, Jaguares, Argentina teams it was a big competition. Today, I think between the competition in Super Rugby and the national game, they need to create an environment for the national team and train every week, every month together. 

"When you had Super Rugby with South African teams it was a tough competition, very tough competition. Today South African teams play the European Cup and it was a benefit to the northern hemisphere."

On being convinced Jones is the right man to lead Australia forwards: 

"Yes, of course. I am sure about it because he's a great coach. I understand everything about it and I think in his head he wants now to find the best solution for the Australia national team and his country. He is the right person. It is not just a problem of Eddie Jones or the players today, I am sure about it. I repeat (playing under) pressure is very important in our sport today."

On not staying with the Wallabies beyond the end of this Rugby World Cup:

"No, I am going to stay in France after the World Cup. But I hope I am going to go to Australia in four years for the World Cup, not for the Wallabies."

Tom Hooper, flanker

On using the hurt of the record Wales loss to fuel the rest of his rugby career: 

"I don't think I'll ever move on from it but I think that's a good thing. The night we've just had, it pulled on the heart strings a little bit, it hurt a lot but I think that's a good thing.

"It's something that will fuel me for the rest of my career and I am sure I am speaking on behalf of a lot of the young blokes, it's a night that we have to remember because we don't want to feel that again.

"We are going to do a lot of hard [work] in the coming week, we've had two really good training days, make sure we put in a good performance and then it's going to be massive hard [work] in the off-season as well to make sure sure we never feel that again.

"I've already worded up little brother that I am coming back ripped to bust and I am going to wake him up early mornings and we're going to work really hard."

On gaining inspiration from the stars of hit kids movie Madagascar: 

"It took a couple of days to grieve on that and now, like the penguins from Madagascar we come out smiling and wave at the boys and get on with the job and make sure that we put two good training days in and we're looking forward to Sunday."

On whether the squad would be happy if Eddie Jones is still head coach at the start of the 2024 season:

"It's an interesting question. I just think everyone is really happy Eddie is our coach at the moment. We've developed really well under him as a young team. He's had a hard task to take us forward. I've certainly gained a lot from being coached under him. Whoever the coach is going forward, as a young team, and as a playing group in Australia everyone is going to put in for whoever has the job and if that's Eddie, that would be just as good. I think he's a really, really good coach and I've learned plenty off him."

On Jones taking the pressure off the squad, both in person and in the media: 

"Same old Eddie mate. He's always cracking jokes with the guys, making sure spirits are high. He had some really encouraging words for us on the night after - and that will stay in house - but he's a great mentor. He made sure the boys were up. You can see even from his media encounters, even from the way he coaches, he is always looking after us number one, even to the point when he will sometimes fall on his sword for us."

On bouncing back in the Wallaby card game syndicate:

"Nah, I'm up mate. Richie Arnold was face-timing his kids the other day and I said, 'you've got to let them know they've got to sleep on the floor next week because I've stole your money'. 

"Ben Donaldson is pretty shocking at cards but he's improved, so it's good.

"Not big bets mate, I think Marika (Koroibete) wanted to get a poker set out but we were advised against it." 

On not being a fan of the Mona Lisa: 

"I already saw it on a day off and I wasn't that impressed to be honest. I preferred some of the other works, they were very impressive for me."

On whether he is an impressionist or a Renaissance man:  

"I don't know what any of that means, but I thought some of shadowing on some of those paintings was pretty cool and the sculptures were pretty cool."

Lalakai Foketi, centre 

On not being a fan of Rugby Australia rostering Wallaby players off from certain Super Rugby games: 

"I did get rostered off a couple of games, against the Blues and the Crusaders. Our two hardest games. Those are the games you want to play and Pierre is right, if we want to learn how to handle pressure then we’ve got to play those games and we’ve got to beat the teams that are up at the top of the Super Rugby ladder.

'"I am not too sure what's happening next year about that but Pierre is right, we've got to play those games.

"For next year, if you asked me if I wanted to get rostered off for two games, I want to play the tough games and the hardest teams."

On wanting to show Wallaby supporters that the squad are tight and do 'care': 

"Felt really gutted as a whole 33 and I guess as a whole group here representing Australia. We obviously let everyone down and we know that at the forefront of our mind. 

'People can't see from the inside how close we are and how well we get around each other and how tight-knit we are as a group. That hasn't changed this week. Monday everyone feeling sorry for themselves but we've got a big job this weekend to leave on a high, and who knows what happens this weekend, to show Australia and our supporters we do care. We want to leave a massive performance out there.

"In a World Cup you can't afford to lose, so it's always a fear. We want to win every game and we obviously haven't done that. 

"We are a young team but that's no excuse, we want to leave on a high if that's the case."

On there being a full squad to choose from ahead of Portugal on Sunday: 

"Today was about physicality. Boys went hard. Obviously, over the course of the World Cup there's been a few injuries at training but everyone got through today, which was good." 

On Australia A having beaten Portugal 30-17 in August: 

"We've watched a bit of footage of that game, Australia A versus Portugal. So, that was enough. I haven't really spoken to them or reached out about what they're going to bring. We've watched a bit of footage and like I said, they're a good sevens teams."

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