Last Updated: 30/08/18 8:25am

Dane Haylett-Petty believes Australia's defeats to New Zealand have been down to mental, rather than physical, deficiencies

Dane Haylett-Petty believes Australia’s defeats to New Zealand have been down to mental, rather than physical, deficiencies

Australia wing Dane Haylett-Petty has rejected claims that his team’s back-to-back second-half capitulations against New Zealand were caused by a lack of fitness.

Having been in contention at half-time in both of the sides’ Rugby Championship meetings, the Wallabies have conceded a combined 59 points after the interval, leading to a pair of resounding defeats.

Former Australia coach Bob Dwyer’s analysis was that Michael Cheika’s team are “not fit enough”, but Haylett-Petty believes his side’s shortcomings were more mental than physical.

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New Zealand 40-12 Australia

New Zealand 40-12 Australia

“I don’t think we’re not fit enough, no,” Haylett-Petty told Rugby Australia’s website.

“It’s something we need to go back over the game plan whether we could work smarter, not harder. I don’t necessarily think it’s a fitness thing.

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“If anything, [it’s] concentration, we let ourselves down and you see other teams capitalise.”

The defeats to the All blacks have left Australia last in the four-team tournament, after South Africa and Argentina split their two meetings.

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Australia 13-38 New Zealand

Australia 13-38 New Zealand

Australia face the Springboks next in Brisbane on September 8 and Haylett-Petty believes they must avoid overreacting, despite there being just over a year until the start of the World Cup.

“It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bath water when you look at the scoreline but we actually did a lot of things right, I think,” he added.

“We just got killed on turnovers and there’s not a lot of teams in world rugby that will hurt you like that from your mistakes.”

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