The Wallabies gather after conceding a try to the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium.
The Wallabies gather after conceding a try to the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium. Mark Kolbe

Tim Horan: Fans want to see pride in Wallabies jumper

ALL I have heard since the loss to the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup match is about how the Wallabies failed defensively.

Yes there were issues and people say it's an easy fix or a quick fix, but I think there were a few factors that should be taken into consideration.

Samu Kerevi was defending at set-pieces at No.12 then you had Curtis Rona coming in at 13.

The Wallabies also put Kurtley Beale at the back so they could have two fullbacks with Israel Folau also there.

But when the All Blacks don't kick the ball that much, you are sort of wasted at the back.

I understand what Michael Cheika is trying to achieve with the structure but I was always a big believer that if you are a No.10 you defend at No.10 - if you are a 12 you attack and defend at No.12 and so on.

The reason why the Wallabies were put under so much pressure in the first 30 minutes was because of the quick ball that the All Blacks were able to achieve.

Aaron Smith was able to get the ball from the breakdown and ping it out to one of his teammates within half a second of a player going to ground.

So while people are talking about the defensive line and the structure, you rewind it back a little bit - if you slow the ball down by two seconds, your defensive line is fully formed.

I am sure that will be something that Cheika is working on but it's going to be a big challenge for the coach and the team to get that right.

While there is plenty of doom and gloom surrounding Australian rugby at the moment, I do see some optimism and do believe the Wallabies can turn things around.

Last week's defeat was a real shame because it was set up as a game that if you win the first Test match or even get close, it sets up the whole Rugby Championship for the Wallabies and starts to re-engage the public back into the game.

What the fans now want to see is a bit of pride in the Wallabies jumper.

Everyone recognises the gold jersey whether you are in Australia or outside Australia.

I have been overseas and watched Ashes Test matches, Davis Cup games and been to other sporting events and you see so many Wallaby gold jerseys and you realise what it stands for.

Yes the Wallabies lost a big opportunity to regain some pride after what has happened in rugby over the past couple of months.

But the one good thing about losing a Test match and having to play one a week later is the fact you have the chance to get back on the horse.

It's now down to the players to get that pride back.

Everyone is happy to keep supporting if you lose by six or eight points and you have blood on your jersey and sweat pouring off you.

If players show pride in that gold jersey then people will be disappointed about the result but they will be proud of the effort.

Pride doesn't just mean running out and singing the national anthem and facing the haka.

It's about bleeding for the bloke next to you and bleeding for your country and showing what it means to represent Australia.

I was part of a Wallabies team that lost to the All Blacks 43-6 in 1996.

A week later we came back and beat the world champion Springboks 21-16 in Sydney.

So you can turn it around and it can happen but you have to believe in yourself and the people around you.

Fox Sports will show every game of the Rugby Championship live, ad-break-free during play and in HD. The second Bledisloe Test kicks off at 5pm on Saturday on Fox Sports 501.