THE AREAS THAT AUSTRALIA MUST PUT RIGHT – FAST THIS YEAR’S Rugby Championship was one for Michael Cheika and the Wallabies to forget. 1
Glaring def iciencies are undermining the Wallabies’ game, says
Australia’s fall from grace throughout the tournament left them seventh in the world rankings, with some desperately poor performances and selection headaches to boot. The familiar blueprint of Wallaby rugby seems to have gone missing and the fabric of what has made them the iconic team they are is in danger of disintegrating, despite the amazing comeback against Argentina in the competition finale in Salta.
In watching Australia’s performances, you get the sense they are trying too hard to find a way to resurrect themselves, leaving many doors open for the improved Springboks, the relentless All Blacks and the rapier attacking threats of the Pumas to exploit. If the coaches of the northern hemisphere teams are seeing what I’m seeing, they will be plotting a major scalp this autumn, because at the moment there are just too many areas that the Aussies are lacking in.
As the Wallabies head to Europe, I’ve highlighted some basic areas of the game that Cheika & Co will be mulling over before facing Wales,
Italy and England in November. Rugby performance is based on a sound platform of kicking game, set-piece function and defensive structure. In the first half of the Rugby Championship match in Salta, Australia’s defensive line showed a lack of cohesion and basic technique that Argentina exploited with aplomb. The Wallabies tend to shoot out of the line in ones and twos, leaving dog-legs and weak shoulders to attack. This is not helped by a poor fold around the ruck by their forwards to get inside of the first back-line defender.
For the Pumas’ bonus-point try, David Pocock and Marika Koroibete each flew out of the line, creating the hole for Santiago González Iglesias to burst through.