CAMPO: Wallabies need to start bashing the All Blacks around
It’s very frustrating watching the Wallabies play at the moment. The more I see, the more upset I get with what is happening. Or not happening, more to the point.
What I’m seeing is a team where the players don’t seem confident when they play together. It’s in their body language: they’re just not gelling on the field.
And this is despite having more time to prepare for their opening Rugby Championship match than both the All Blacks and the Springboks.
What’s going on?
The Wallabies looked very disjointed on the weekend. No one was prepared to get stuck in and start bashing the All Blacks around.
They’re the best team in the world, and by some margin right now. So if we want to be the best, the Australian players need to go out there and really prove themselves.
I know there’s passion and pride, but the players don’t seem to go that extra mile to give the opposition hell.
Really, we’ve lost our way in Australian rugby. Where are we going? What style of rugby are we playing?
The All Blacks are so enthusiastic and committed. They play as a team.
The Wallabies, on the other hand, are full of players who rarely get seen on the field. And there was nine Waratahs in the squad?! Their form has continued on from the Super Rugby season instead of going up to the next level.
There’s not much point in targeting individual players for criticism.
The loss on the weekend wasn’t Kurtley Beales fault, for instance. He’s a very promising player, but there is no-one around him to help.
If you look at the All Blacks, with Carter, Sonny Bill, Nonu, Jayne, and Dagg, they’re all dangerous runners with the ball. If you’re defending against them, you’re under a lot of stress because of their relentless attacks.
The more attacking players you have in the backline the more pressure you are under. We are not worrying the Blacks at all.
The Wallabies have maybe two players who are a threat: Ioane and Beale. Genia and Barnes are just not working together. The two centres can’t pass the ball and don’t concern the All Blacks at all.
We need to get players to pass and support each other more as well. Start getting the All Blacks guessing about what we’re doing next.
Ioane doesn’t get the ball. But, also, he should be looking for the ball a lot more. Beale is under pressure because everybody expects him the score every time he touches the ball.
He also plays like he has to prove himself all the time as well.
Yes, we have the flair of Cooper to draw upon, but we need players around him who understand the flair. We need combinations.
We had the best skills in the world, now we can’t do the basics and understand each other. What has happened?
Australia under Deans’ watch typically plays very predictable and defence-orientated rugby.
The Kiws are miles ahead in skill, they’re confident, and they’re passionate. And they’re enjoying their rugby.
I coach rugby to kids all around the world and the first thing I teach them is that the reason to play the game is for enjoyment.
And don’t forget it.
So go out, play as a team, and enjoy. And I always talk about the game being about the BALL. If you haven’t got it, you can’t win.
So don’t just give it away.
That’s something that seems to be lacking in the Wallabies. That, and the fire to go out there and really give it to the All Blacks. You respect the opposition by belting them.
My backline would be Genia, Cooper, Mitchell, Barnes, O’Connor, Ioane, Beale.
The basics are letting as down. And so is our confidence and combinations. And let’s start talking about attack and not defence, please!
Get back to the basics and get physical and just go for it at Eden Park this weekend.
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