Sunday 15 September 2019

Pocock rues 'mental side' as Aussies slump to another loss

Australia's David Pocock. Photo: PA
Australia's David Pocock. Photo: PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

David Pocock says it is "all about the mental side of things" after Australia suffered an eighth Test defeat this year.

The Wallabies' 9-6 loss in Cardiff was their first against Wales since 2008 following 13 successive victories.

Sub Dan Biggar's late penalty saw Wales follow Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina in toppling Australia in recent months.

Pocock and co now head to Padova for an appointment with Italy this weekend, before a testing season finale against England at Twickenham.

"It is all mental," the No 8 said. "Physically, everyone is strong and fit. and it is all about the mental side of things. As players, we know that and are working on that."

Italy will go into the Australia game in a good frame of mind after Conor O'Shea's charges went a small way towards silencing calls for Georgia to replace them in the Six Nations on Saturday with an 28-17 defeat of their Eastern Europe rivals.

The Azzurri scored four tries, including one by Tommaso Allan, who also kicked two penalties and a conversion, in the first meeting of the sides since 2003.

The game was seen as an unofficial test of Italy's right to stay in the Six Nations, where they have not won a match since 2015 and have finished bottom for the last three seasons.

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Georgia have won the Europe International Championships - effectively a second-tier event - for eight of the last 10 seasons but there is no promotion and relegation between the two competitions.

Competition: Independent.ie has two pairs of tickets to the sold out Ireland vs New Zealand game at the Aviva this Saturday. Enter here.

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