Wallabies not feeling Pumas pressure

By Melissa Woods,

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    The Wallabies say they’ll treat this weekend’s Test against Argentina like any other despite facing the prospect of their worst-ever start to the Rugby Championship.

    The pressure is mounting on the Australians after they blew a 10-point lead against South Africa in Perth on Saturday night and were forced to settle for a 23-23 draw.

    That followed two losses to New Zealand, meaning a defeat to Argentina in Canberra this Saturday would culminate in their most dismal start to the four-nations competition.

    In 2013 they opened with three losses but at least cracked a win in their fourth match, against the Pumas in Perth that year.

    It would also continue Australian rugby’s year of woe, with no Super Rugby team able to defeat a New Zealand outfit and the Test ranking sliding to world No.5.

    Skipper Michael Hooper said the Wallabies’ approach wouldn’t be any different to any other Test match despite the high stakes.

    “Every Test match is big for us and we’re treating it as a final and that’s what the Pumas deserve,” Hooper said.

    The draw with the Boks’ was the second successive match they’d given up a lead, and while Hooper felt the team was still getting comfortable in “building a game”, there are positive signs.

    “We were in control and allowed South Africa to come back into the game through mistakes creeping in as opposed to sticking to what we do well and letting it snow-ball into a solid victory,” he said.

    “We’re growing as a team so when we get into those moments we’re comfortable with it; we are starting to see the fruits of our labour.”

    Hooper said the Wallabies would need to improve their discipline and their set-piece and maul against the physical Pumas, whose backline showed plenty of flair in their spirited loss to the All Blacks in New Plymouth last weekend.

    The young captain said his team needed to follow the lead of veteran centre Kurtley Beale, who was the stand-out against South Africa.

    “Kurtley’s been full of confidence,” Hooper said.

    “He’s the lifeblood of the team when it’s going well and he got us out of a tricky situation against South Africa and his step forward in leadership has been fantastic.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • September 13th 2017 @ 12:50am
      MH01 said | September 13th 2017 @ 12:50am | ! Report

      They should change their approach….cause its not working.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 10:07am
        PiratesRugby said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        No mention of how well they’re training?

    • September 13th 2017 @ 2:53am
      DavSA said | September 13th 2017 @ 2:53am | ! Report

      Wallabies not feeling the pressure? Mmmmmm I do not buy it. This is a must win game against a team that has shown in patches at least ( not unlike Australia) that they can play great rugby . Also like the Aussies , the Pumas are looking for an 80 min performance . This game is absolutely not a gimme .

      I also don’t buy Hoopers assertion that AUS was in control and let it slip. Yes they had control but through set piece dominance and bossing the breakdowns I felt the Boks took control away.

    • Roar Guru

      September 13th 2017 @ 3:06am
      biltongbek said | September 13th 2017 @ 3:06am | ! Report

      I don’t think the Wallabies were ever in charge at all.

      South Africa with their dominance at the breakdown never allowed Australia to take charge, however South Africa with their unforced errors never took charge of the match either.

      Australia did manage to negate the set piece with intelligent play, South Africa never really got any benefit from having completed scrums, especially in the first half.

      Personally I was very disappointed in the match.

      • Roar Guru

        September 15th 2017 @ 8:07am
        taylorman said | September 15th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        Good to see some fighting talk out of your camp Biltong😀
        Nice…

    • Roar Guru

      September 13th 2017 @ 3:35am
      Carlos the Argie said | September 13th 2017 @ 3:35am | ! Report

      Ah, the forward dominance issue! The scrum and line-out….

      But the Pumas scrum is not anymore what it was. It is what Eddie Jones wanted years ago for the Wallabies, an “unimportant piece”.

      The Pumas backs had no penetration last week against the ABs, it was the forwards through the middle, close to the rucks where the damage was done. And one try was a rare line out mistake from the ABs. Can the WB defend here> Is Hooper going to play wide or close?

      The Pumas also kicked a lot to McKenzie but only rarely put pressure on him with the kicks, the follow up wasn’t merciless enough. Not good against Folau either. They better kick more accurately.

      If the WB make the Pumas run across the field they will have a better time.

      In the end, it could be that the team that is “less worse” wins. Or if penalties are the difference, Boffelli may have a good time. I can’t recall who is refereeing.

    • Roar Rookie

      September 13th 2017 @ 5:44am
      K.F.T.D. said | September 13th 2017 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      Let’s assume that the Waratahs = Wallabies.
      Let’s also assume that the Jaguares = Pumas.
      By combining these equations we get the Pumas beating the Wallabies.
      If this is a truth and it is borne out in reality, then by law we should play another states team higher on the super rugby table as the Wallabies
      Higher than say 3rd last.
      I don’t know just a theory.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 9:05am
        enoughisenough said | September 13th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        Given that the Wallabies finished last weeks Test with 7 Waratahs on the field (not including Beale), and the entire Waratahs backrow, its not surprising that the Wallabies performances and results have not been good this year. If players aren’t good enough in SR, why does Cheika think they’ll turn it on in Test matches? The clowns selections and tactics have to be blamed.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 5:07pm
          Gary said | September 13th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

          I just re-watched the game again and a couple of things became apparent to me.
          – the scrum was not as bad as first appeared save for a couple of scrums that looked dreadful
          – the lineout and cleanout on attacking ball was worse than it first appeared
          – fixing both of the above we would have won by 15 points easy
          – the Welcome to Country was a standout , an excellent piece for all Aussies , Indigenous and the rest , to be proud of, saw some of the Boks shuffling during it and thought geez you blokes get to sing 3 different anthems gives us a break – something like that should be standard , maybe some Didge playing next time !

          Now watching this match again I focussed on our No.6 because there has been so much conjecture about him. He reminds me of a recurring nightmare I have , being a very poor ( open chords only ) guitarist , I have this nightmare where I am on stage with a R+R band, big crowd, and SO FAR out of my depth it ain’t funny and when it comes to my solo …. well … you know that’s when I wake up in a night sweat !

          Our No. 6 is that , he is so far out of his depth he is just running around like the proverbial chook , total positive involvements I noted was 1 ( a lineout win) he missed tackles , stood back when it was obviously his next carry , could not blow the skin of a custard let alone a Bok off the ball , NOTHING dominant, he was a passenger . He shouldn’t be selected next test and if I can see it why can’t the coach ?

    • September 13th 2017 @ 11:25am
      johnno42 said | September 13th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

      its just a flesh wound!!

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