Rona asks Wallabies fans to keep the faith
IT'S rarely been harder to be upbeat as an Australian rugby fan.
But positivity and faith is exactly what the Wallabies need from home right now, according to Curtis Rona.
The Force centre and former NRL player pleaded with Aussie rugby supporters to resist the negativity overwhelming the code at the moment and get behind the Wallabies as they prepare to take on the All Blacks on home soil this weekend.
No Wallabies team has won in New Zealand in 17 years and after a heavy first-up loss in Sydney, the Wallabies are at record-high odds to upset the All Blacks.
Rona, who made his debut last weekend, said the Wallabies need the support of their country to get it done.
"A lot of people have been negative about the whole situation and the whole of Australian rugby at the moment," Rona said.
"It's not a good time but that's what makes the game more important.
"If they (can) stick it out with us and get behind us and encourage us and be positive more than negative, that's what we need in times like this.
"It's all right for supporters to jump on a winning streak and when it's times like this, against the best team in the world, we need people to support us and show some positivity coming into these games."
Rona had a mixed night on debut at ANZ Stadium.
He played on the wing but was deployed in the centres in defence, and his missed tackle count (six) was equal highest in the team.
The former junior Kiwi league representative managed to score the Wallabies' first try, however, which launched a fightback.
"There was highs and lows about the debut, the result didn't go our way," Rona said.
"It was probably one of the worst scores we've conceded but on a high note I got my first game under my belt and hopefully I can move forward and try and get more game time.
"They just kept scoring back-to-back tries, the majority of them were from our area.
"It wasn't because they did a nice flash move, it was because we made too many simple errors and obviously New Zealand make you pay and they did in the first half."
Rona appears set to make way for the return of Dane Haylett-Petty, who missed the game with a biceps injury.
He remains a chance to stay on the bench, however, with Tevita Kuridrani a strong chance to be promoted into the starting team ahead of Samu Kerevi.