Australian back-rower Sean McMahon has a blunt message for the people who threw barbs at the Wallabies before their gallant effort against the All Blacks on Saturday.
“What other people have to say about us, we couldn’t give two shits to be honest,” McMahon said. “We’ve got to focus on doing our game and not listen to the outside crew. [Saturday] proved that if we just focus on ourselves and our own game, we can continue to build.”
Although the Wallabies fell 35-29 to the All Blacks in heartbreaking circumstances in Dunedin, they showed enough ticker and temerity to win back the hearts of Australian rugby fans.
McMahon had his best game ever for the Wallabies; making 13 carries for 68 metres in a performance that was inspiring to say the least.
It was so impressive that even coach Michael Cheika, who is usually a little reserved in his praise for players at post-game press conferences, couldn’t contain his admiration for McMahon’s work ethic across 80 minutes.
“There’s a word for Sean McMahon and that was outstanding,” Cheika said. “He was truly outstanding. He gave it everything. That’s the Sean McMahon we know and that’s why I’ll be aiming all guns [blazing] towards Japan to try and get his contract torn up over there.
“I don’t care what it takes to make him stay here because we want him, we need him.
“Maybe it’s nice to say publicly now how badly we want a player to stay here because we love him and we want him to keep playing like that in a gold jersey.”
McMahon will leave Australian rugby at the end of the year to take up a two-year deal in Japan, most likely at the Suntory club alongside Wallabies legend George Smith.
There is the possibility McMahon could return for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, given the Japanese Top League season runs after the international Tests and does not cross over with Super Rugby.
Asked whether he had a desire to play at the World Cup, McMahon was non-committal but said it was nice hear praise from Cheika.
“If I can keep putting performances on like that, it might be something in the future that can change the opportunity for me to come back and shift the pieces around for me to get that opportunity,” McMahon said. “Right now it’s just week to week.
“It’s great to hear comments like that but you can’t let anything like that go to your head. I’m focusing on the next game and getting another opportunity for the gold jersey.
“Down the track, if the opportunity comes back for me to come back, that might happen but right now I’m focusing on the next game over in Perth and at the end of the year, I’ll focus on when I go to Japan.”
McMahon echoed the feelings of other teammates, saying they were all shattered after coming within two minutes of knocking off the All Blacks on their own turf in what would have been one of the greatest upsets in the history of Australian rugby.
“Losing like that in the last two minutes when we put a hard grit effort into trying to get the result there is disappointing,” McMahon said. “All we needed to do is finish there and get a good exit and it could have been a different story. But I think we showed a lot of grit, a lot of passion.
“All we talked about in the sheds was focusing on now we’ve got to build and go to another level. That’s just the start of where we think we can go and we’ve got to continue to build up if we want to be the top of the table.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.