Rennie admits Wallabies 'long way' off All Blacks after Sydney thrashing

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie looks dejected after their Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup loss to the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 31 October 2020.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie looks dejected after their Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup loss to the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 31 October 2020.
Matt King/Getty Images)

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie admitted his team were "a long way off" the All Blacks' level on Saturday, but said it was early days as he works to rebuild ahead of the next World Cup.

Sloppy Australia were outplayed in all departments in a 43-5 hammering by Ian Foster's rampant New Zealand, who were at their ruthless best in Sydney as they exploited the Wallabies' errors.

Although Rennie's team cut down on missed tackles, they conceded 17 turnovers, which cost them dearly, and managed only two clean breaks as New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th straight year with one game still to go.

"You can't turn over the ball as much as we do, it puts a lot of pressure on us defensively," he said.

"But you've got to give them credit, they were really sharp, really clinical, their skill-set was outstanding in those (wet) conditions.

"They had a really smart kicking game that they implemented well," he added. "I thought they were top-notch. We were a long way off tonight and that is reflected in the score."

Rennie's side is young and he blooded new players like Noah Lolesio and Irae Simone, but he refused to use inexperience as an excuse.

"For 20 minutes (at the beginning of the second half) we actually played pretty well, we actually defended well," he said.

"But 20 minutes of competitive footy is nowhere near enough to cut it with the All Blacks."

Rennie, himself a New Zealander, has only been in charge for three games after taking over from Michael Cheika following their disappointing early exit from the World Cup last year in Japan.

Hopes were high they had turned a corner after a tense 16-16 draw in Wellington this month, but their frailties were exposed the following week in Auckland.

And defeat in Sydney showed there is plenty of work to do.

"We're five to six weeks into a four-year campaign," Rennie said.

"I must admit the first game in Wellington I was nervous about an All Blacks performance that would find us under pressure. But we had a lot of character that night.

"We just need to keep working hard, we think we've got some good kids coming through.

"We need to respond immediately and you'll see that next week."

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