Gregan not happy with own form - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gregan not happy with own form

By Adrian Warren 25/11/2002 10:09:19 PM Comments (0)

Wallaby captain and halfback George Gregan admits he isn't happy with his own form on tour and pin-pointed technique as the area the Australian Rugby Union team needed to work on the most.

Gregan and the majority of the Wallaby touring party on Monday night returned home from their tour of Argentina and Europe during which they recorded wins over the Pumas and Italy and losses to England and Ireland.

He said while it had been a tough tour for the Australians there had been a lot of positives.

"New players getting a taste of Test match rugby, our defensive record was very strong, that's always good leading into big matches and exposed areas we need to work on in the next 12 months," Gregan said.

"I think if you could put it down to one word, it would be technique - everywhere, in individual play, in team play, specific areas, forwards and backs."

The long serving Test halfback drew fire in some quarters for his tour performances and felt he wasn't at his best.

"I wasn't happy with my form and there's no harder critic on my own performance than myself. I always look to improve on my performances and that's something which I need to look at for next year," Gregan said.

He felt the whole debate about the gap between Southern and Northern hemisphere rugby was "a myth" and this was proved during the past month when Australia, New Zealand and South Africa all lost matches to European teams.

"It also shows South Africa, New Zealand and Australian teams are at the end of a long year and they had a lot of rustiness in their play," Gregan said.

Gregan also made the point that the team displaying the best form a year out from a World Cup wasn't necessarily the favourite for the tournament.

"I remember in 1998 the South African team was probably the undisputed best team in the world. At that stage I think they had won 16 in a row but it didn't count for much the year later," Gregan said.

Wallaby coaching co-ordinator and former Test prop Ewen McKenzie said a lot of good things had emerged from the tour that weren't reflected in the results.

"We scored more points against England at Twickenham than any other side has. If you look at the form line of the top sides at the moment and cast your mind back, you will see all the teams are winning their games at home and you can probably count on one hand the amount of wins away from home against top sides," said McKenzie.

"It's really quite difficult to go away and win at the moment. I think that's going to be a challenge, I guess that's a bit of a plus for us playing at home next year (in the World Cup)".

McKenzie said while injuries had stymied Australia's chances of developing some combinations they had also presented opportunities for players to demonstrate their versatility by turning out in different positions.

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