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Australian head coach Dave Rennie refused to use the Wallabies’ long injury list as an excuse for their series loss to England.
Eddie Jones’ side added to their triumph on the Tour in 2016 by winning back-to-back series Down Under, beating Australia 21-17 in Saturday’s litmus test.
The Tourists fell behind in the series after losing 30-28 in Perth, but leveled off with a 25-17 win in Brisbane last weekend.
Australia started well on Saturday, advancing 10-3 after Tom Wright’s try. England recovered as Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith went to turn the fight firmly in their favor at 21-10, and held on after Folau Fainga’a got the upper hand later.
The hosts were without 11 players through injury or suspension, but Rennie believes his side should still have had enough quality to beat England.
“We had a pretty good team on the pitch to win tonight,” he told reporters. “What it highlights is that we’re creating really good depth and I think a lot of guys who have an opportunity have really stood up.
“You just have to find a way, don’t you? Injuries are part of the game and we’ve done enough of that tonight, but you have to be clinical and take the chances.
“We created a lot of chances. I think we came in with the right plan, we just weren’t clinical enough.
“If we take a few of those opportunities early in the game, we start applying pressure to them. It’s disappointing because at this level you have to take a chance and we left a lot of that.”
Australia captain Michael Hooper acknowledged the series loss hurt and also called on his teammates to become more clinical.
“Dave talked about just being clinical in these situations, you want to be a team that can get a win,” he said.
“They get to your end, they take points, pick up scraps there, get more points, then you have to start looking at the line, trying to maim, we can’t just do 3-6-9 stepping on it .
“Their ability to rack up points has earned them throughout the series, and they continue to apply that pressure with their kicking game.
“England did very well there. They also had injuries, so they won a series.
“As far as our learnings are concerned, there is a lot for us. We have signed new players, so it is a good thing. With an injury, there is an opportunity.
“We were in pain last week, now we’re even worse. So it’s going to be three long weeks before we play again.”