Wales whitewash masks Wallaby deficiencies
The Wallabies may be celebrating a whitewash over Six Nations champions Wales but their deficiencies will be punished by the All Blacks and Springboks in the coming months, Australian media said on Monday.
Wales head home after three narrow defeats to the second-ranked Wallabies, who were more clinical in their execution in the crucial moments of the Tests.
But Australian pundits dwelt more on the Wallabies’ deficiency in the scrum and unimaginative attack looking ahead to the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina, kicking off in August.
Coach Robbie Deans described his team’s set-piece as “dysfunctional” after Saturday’s 20-19 win over Wales.
“Until the start of the inaugural Rugby Championship, Deans, who is happy that his squad now know how to win the tight Tests, will be mulling over several nagging dilemmas,” The Sydney Morning Herald’s Greg Growden said.
“Still the Wallabies’ biggest area of instability is in the scrum. After making advances earlier in the year, the Wallabies front row found themselves under enormous pressure, as Welsh tight-head Adam Jones destabilised his opposite, Benn Robinson.”
Former Wallaby hooker Brendan Cannon also pinpointed the Wallaby scrum as a fundamental weakness.
“The Wallabies scrum was dominated at key stages of the game and the lineout throwing from hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau was also off,” Cannon said in the Sunday Telegraph.
“Those errors should have been punished by Wales, and will most certainly be punished by more capable sides such as New Zealand and South Africa if they are repeated in the Rugby Championship.”
The Australian newspaper’s Wayne Smith criticised the lack of adventure in the Wallaby attack, and said the Welsh did not deserve to go home whitewashed in the series.
“The Wallabies didn’t have a crack in the crunch games of the World Cup and they didn’t really have a crack against Wales either. These days, the Wallabies don’t dare to dare,” Smith said.
“In light of the fact that they had scraped home to narrow victories in Brisbane and Melbourne, it was a case of ’keep doing what you’ve always done and you’ll keep getting what you always got’.”