O'Connor aiming to rebound against 'Boks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Connor aiming to rebound against 'Boks

By Darren Walton 22/07/2009 05:14:54 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies whiz kid James O'Connor is using his Eden Park nightmare as motivation to excel if given a chance to atone in Australia's next Tri Nations Test against South Africa.

After bursting to prominence with a spectacular tryscoring hat-trick in his first Test start last month against Italy, O'Connor came crashing back to earth with a forgettable performance off the bench in Australia's 22-16 loss to New Zealand in Auckland last Saturday.

Critics across the Tasman were particularly scathing of O'Connor's display, claiming the just-turned 19-year-old had been "exposed" in the pressure cooker atmosphere of a Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks.

O'Connor, though, insists he's not the type of character to dwell on past disappointments.

"It was definitely an awesome experience. I'll take that personally as a learning curve for me," O'Connor told AAP on Wednesday.

"I took a lot out of the game and I'm just looking forward to my next game.

"The way I'm looking at it, you either win or you learn. So I've definitely learnt a lot from that game - I wasn't playing in the moment. I was looking too far ahead. I was trying to do too much when I came on.

"I think I might have tried to create a little too much, with the drop ball, and was just overplaying my hand a little bit.

"I've just got to go back to the initial advice I got from the older boys and from (Wallabies coach) Robbie (Deans) just to settle into the game and play my natural game, not try to overplay it.

"That's how I'll move forward, I think ... Move on, learn from it."

O'Connor is hoping for a shot at redemption against the Springboks at another of world rugby's great cauldrons, Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, on August 8.

"If I get the opportunity, I'll take it with both hands and next time I'll play in the moment and give a bit more back to the boys," he said.

More immediately, the teenage backline ace is eager about making his Sydney club rugby debut for Eastwood on Saturday against Warringah.

O'Connor will be among five Wallabies in the star-studded Woodies line-up, joining Lachie Turner, David Pocock, Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson.

"I'm pretty stoked about getting a run for Eastwood," O'Connor said.

"I've got training on Thursday so it'll be good to get down there and learn a few of the moves and see how I go on the weekend.

"I know a few of the boys and the coaching staff. We've got the (Warringah) Rats, who are a pretty good team, so exciting stuff."

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