Allan Alaalatoa of Australia powers through the Scottish defence during their Test match in June.
Allan Alaalatoa of Australia powers through the Scottish defence during their Test match in June. DAVID MOIR

Wallabies keen to put NZ mental hurdles aside

WALLABIES players are doing whatever they can to forget the horror 0-26 run against Kiwi sides in Super Rugby this year as they prepare to face the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup.

No Wallaby squad member has tasted victory over a Kiwi this year in a worrying statistic as they aim to end a 14-year losing streak in the Bledisloe series.

But prop Allan Alaalatoa said the group was working to overcome the mental hurdles that come with losing all 26 matches to trans-Tasman foes in 2017.

"I believe there are, especially after the Super Rugby performance that's been going on, you just have to mentally put that all aside," Alaalatoa said.

"When you come out against them, you just have to give it your all, I believe.

"Even when you're out there you expect a tough battle. It's going to be a close game, when it comes down to those dying moments in the game you just have mentally pick yourself up, and back yourself physically."

A punishing Wallabies fitness regimen devised by coach Michael Cheika is the key towards developing the mental toughness required for the challenge on August 19 at ANZ Stadium.

"I only came in the last two sessions and I felt I was there the whole week, for me physically it was and it was a good test for me mentally," said Alaalatoa, who along with Brumbies squad members arrived late to camp after featuring in the Super Rugby quarter-finals.

"When you come down to those moments and you think the training session's over but you've got another fitness drill, it's just all about pushing yourself mentally and trying to be comfortable in an uncomfortable environment.

"You're going to hit some barriers there mentally and you probably think that you can't go any further, but it's up to you whether you want to push that extra distance.

"That's why I feel I learnt more about myself and I really came out stronger out of those training sessions and I learnt a lot.

"It was a good test for me mentally. I haven't been pushed that far mentally."

News Corp Australia


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