Wallaroos hunt for mental edge as they look for complete performance

The Wallaroos are eager to bounce back after last week's disappointing defeat, looking to 'back their instincts' as they prepare for Scotland.They are treating Saturday's game as must-win if they wish to advance to the knockout stages, with the top two and the two highest third-place finishes qualifying for the quarter-finals.After yet another strong start but lacklustre finish, the squad are drawing off the teachings of Mental Skills coach David King to maintain focus and build connection.“Sometimes you can be so focused on how you are physically performing and preparing, you can forget that mental side,” back-rower Piper Duck believes. "There’s a lot of emotions around an environment like this, I think it’s been very beneficial to strengthen those skills.“He’s been focusing on how to get our nerves down but also how to try and understand each other. You can understand how you play, but sometimes even I can’t understand myself. We need to realise everyone has their own way of looking at things. If we can support and understand each other, it’s just going to benefit us all.”“He really challenges us to think about things we wouldn’t necessarily think about ourselves,” lock Sera Naiqama added.“This week has been about connection and focusing on why you started playing in the first place and I think at a place like the World Cup, it is the world stage and the pinnacle of our game, you can get lost in the noise and excitement of it all. It was about connecting and grounding us whilst remembering why we started this journey with our sisters.”The squad welcome Maya Stewart and Lori Cramer into the back three as they prepare for the territory-heavy offence the Scottish will bring.Scotland kicked the ball 20 times during their 18-15 defeat to Wales, more than triple what the Black Ferns produced at Eden Park last week.“We know they defend very well, have 14 on feet so we’re looking to expose some elements of that, play a little more direct and look for opportunities on the edge," assistant coach Sione Fukofuka said."We know they are going to kick a little more that New Zealand and that brings into the game the opportunity to counter attack and use our outside back.”Cramer was well aware of what to expect, believing her 'random' playstyle can help take advantage of it.“They kick a lot, so I assume I’ll be pretty busy, I’ll just catch the ball and have a crack,” Cramer said with a grin.“I think it’s one of the strengths I bring to the side, just a bit random at stages which may be good or bad but we’ll find out. I think sometimes at this level you can get too structured or in your head. We need to have some fun. "We’re all naturally really good Rugby players so I think sometimes backing instincts and that ad-lib free is what you need.”Click Here: qld maroons rugby store