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Tahu shattered after Wallaby defeat

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Rugby League convert Timana Tahu says that he feels shattered by his nightmare starting debut for the Wallabies but that he is also also itching for a square-up after experiencing distasteful South African gloating.

The Former NRL star Tahu made his first start for the Wallabies on Saturday and it happened in the worst way possible as the Wallabies lost 53-8 at Johannesburg’s Coca Cola (Ellis) Park.

Tahu had played in the Wallabies victory the week before but his International career prior to Saturday was a mere 23 minutes of Test rugby.

“I’ve had a few (heavy defeats) in my career and it’s just not the best thing in my debut in the starting side … you get given a chance to prove yourself and it’s just shattering,” Tahu told AAP.

“I was looking for a rope to hang myself.”

“South Africa just played out of their skin.

“The first five minutes everything was going well but after that it just felt like we were running backwards all the time.”

“It was probably one of those games where you just want to wake up and just think this is a bad dream.”

Adding to the pain of the defeat, Tahu says that it was also hard to swallow the Boks’ celebrations.

“South Africans sure know how to rub it in and I think that’s what made it feel worse,” he said.

“The crowd and listening to them after the game, you can hear people cheering and carrying on and it makes you angry, it makes you really angry, it makes you want to play them again next week or tomorrow and try and see if you can square things up.”

The Wallabies arrived in Johannesburg with an eye on ending their 45 year losing streak on the Highveld after they picked up their first win in South Africa for eight years.

The jury is still out on exactly how focused the Wallabies were as the match had little or no bearing on the Tri Nations title.

The winner of the tournament will be decided on September the 13th between the Wallabies who have home advantage in Brisbane and the All Blacks who top the table just one point ahead of the Wallabies.

Having arrived in South Africa with no luggage from past defeats Tahu left with some that he is looking forward to returning with interest.

“It’s really hard to get into the stadium, the traffic, the crowd,” he said.

“It takes you about half an hour, 40 minutes squeezing through the traffic and then you’re getting into the stadium and there’s a rowdy crowd. But it was a good experience.”

Tahu’s ability to read the play at inside centre was always going to be under the microscope after heaving spent some time on the wing for the Waratahs in the Super 14 but he says that he felt comfortable in the Wallabies midfield.

“I felt comfortable, I felt my defence is probably one of my strengths but there’s probably just a few little technical things,” he said.

“I missed one tackle there which cost us a try, for me personally that was probably the down point of my game but I thought I was doing everything right.”

He did add however that he had no real opportunity to get going in attack.

“I was disappointed with my game, very disappointed … I’ve got to learn from it,” he said.

“It felt like as a backline we didn’t really get enough opportunities to prove ourselves, there were bits and pieces, we did make a few little breaks here and there but overall in the whole game it was just a battle uphill.

“They got the first three tries and then it was a battle just to keep on going.

“Games like this you live it, you learn from it and then you’ve got to move on.

“At the moment it’s hard but I think this is only going to make us stronger and make us more determined when we play (New Zealand) in Brisbane.”
 
Rugbyweek.com

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