Wallabies focus on Bledisloe, not rankings
August 21, 2013
Wallabies prop Ben Alexander says the rankings drop isn't a cause for concern © Getty Images
Prop Ben Alexander says the Wallabies are too busy plotting ways to beat the All Blacks to be bothered by their latest slide in the rugby rankings.
On the back of their opening Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship series loss to New Zealand last Saturday the Wallabies dropped a spot from world No.3 to No.4 - their worst ranking since early 2008 when they were fifth.
They were leap-frogged by England, with world champions New Zealand and South Africa filling the top two spots. But Alexander says winning back the Bledisloe Cup from the All Blacks for the first time since 2002 is the first goal and the rankings will take care of themselves if the team performs well.
"We're not focused on the rankings, we're focused on winning the Bledisloe Cup," Alexander said. "Obviously you want to be No.1, so until you're that you won't be satisfied but we won't be dwelling on that. We will be dwelling on the job that needs to be done."
Ahead of their second Bledisloe Cup clash in Wellington on Saturday, Alexander said the Wallabies needed to shore up several areas including their defence, with missed tackles proving costly.
"There was some sloppy work at the breakdown and the All Blacks capitalised."
The prop said he was enjoying playing under new coach Ewen McKenzie, who won 51 caps propping for Australia. Another former Test prop, Andrew Blades, is an assistant.
The Wallabies believe the will be able to improve for the second Bledisloe Test%]
"It's good, the more props in charge the better," Alexander said. "There's Bladesy and Ewen there now, get a prop running the backs and we might go alright."
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.