Australia head coach Ewen McKenzie believes his charges are showing the signs they are ready to defeat New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.
Since losing to the All Blacks the last time they played them, 41-33 in October, the Wallabies have gone on to win seven internationals in a row.
And ahead of the tournament which they are third favourites to win, McKenzie is adamant they are heading in the right direction to claim victory.
“I’d like to think we have (closed the gap) but that’ll be proved once we play,” he told sportal.co.nz, with the duo meeting in Sydney on August 16.
“All I can say is each time we played them last year we got closer on the scoreboard, but we didn’t beat them, so that’s the reality of it.
“What have we done since then? We’ve worked hard on developing a playing style that suits the Wallabies and suits the players that are in Australian rugby and I think that’s been warmly embraced by the playing group, and we saw that in the French series.
“And we’ve exposed some new players but there’s some reasonable consistency around selections and the positional side of it … and we’ve had some consistent success on the field so that gives you confidence.
“So all of those things are different to the last time we confronted them but we can talk about these things now but the reality is it comes down to the 80 minutes.
“The raw ingredients are positive for us but we need to turn that into something.”
- Planet Rugby