Deans be brutal, Genia be realistic
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Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans has copped a lot of unfair flack over that pathetic performance last week against the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium.
But Deans didn’t miss tackles, or turn over possession. He didn’t spill regulation passes, or pass the ball behind support players.
Every one of them elementary rugby, basic skills, all gone AWOL.
It was so bad, I was really angry at the final hooter and felt cheated by such an abysmal performance when so much was on offer.
And I don’t feel any better after fill-in skipper Will Genia’s weak comments yesterday.
“We were a little bit passive (last week)”.
“We probably relied a little bit too much on our forwards (last week)”.
“I think we can look to be a little bit more attacking (this week) with the ball in hand as a backline”.
“So if we can get the ball in the backs’ hands a little bit more, and have a little bit more thrust, I think that will stand us in good stead”.
What’s this “little bit” rubbish?
If Genia honestly believes the Wallabies only have to improve “a little bit” this week, he has a major problem with reality that demands a 200% improvement or the Wallabies will be flogged by 30 minimum.
Despite his poor game last week by his high standards, Genia is one of only five Wallabies who can be confident of running onto Eden Park on Saturday night in the starting lineup.
Digby Ioane, Berrick Barnes, Adam Ashley-Cooper, and David Dennis are the other four.
The lack of urgency in the Wallaby ranks is alarming. That’s why the side needs an injection of new blood.
Complacency is rife. You would think pulling on a Wallaby jersey would make every player feel like a giant.
Not any more. Or to be more accurate, not nearly enough of them.
If Deans is to cop any genuine criticism, it will be making minimal changes because he is a loyal selector. While loyalty is commendable, these Wallabies need a major uppercut wake-up call.
Fly-half Quade Cooper, winger Drew Mitchell, and openside flanker Michael Hooper to replace the injured skipper David Pocock are must selections.
No argument whatsoever.
The likes of lock Kane Douglas, flanker Liam Gill, hooker Stephen Moore, backrower Radike Samo, and prop James Slipper, are kicking down the selection door.
The Wallaby pack last week delivered so much slow ball, the backs were stifled. And when the backs did receive decent ball, they invariably stuffed it up.
It was a vicious circle.
You couldn’t call it a comedy of errors because there was nothing funny about the farce at all.
So Robbie Deans, shake the Wallabies up with some positive selection changes.
And Will Genia, increase your “little bit more” theory to a massive improvement to be inspirational.
You will need it. And the fans demand it.
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