Come on Wallabies, where’s your pride and passion?

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    There isn’t a writer in Australia enjoying bollocking the Wallabies’ rubbish rugby. But it’s been hell watching the game they used to play in heaven.

    Sadly, there’s been zero to salute – the Wallabies have won only eight of their 19 games since the final of the Rugby World Cup in October 2015, and in the last Super Rugby tournament the five Australian rugby franchises won just 21 of their 75 games, including a first time 0-26 against the Kiwis.

    But Michael Cheika can coach, skills guru Mick Byrne honed All Black abilities for a decade, and defence coach Nathan Grey was a devastating defender during his 25 Wallaby caps, and 94 games for the Waratahs.

    Cheika is the only coach to win major tournaments in the northern and southern hemisphere, including the Waratahs’ success in the 2014 Super Rugby, ending a 19-year drought.

    Yesterday Byrne pleaded with fans to be patient as the Wallabies are close to getting it right.

    Patient and close after the All Blacks led 40-6 at halftime last Saturday before declaring with 30 minutes to go leading 54-6, allowing the Wallabies to score an unanswered 28 points?

    The Aussies missed 26 tackles in the first 26 minutes for the Kiwis to lead 26-6, and by fulltime that was a massive 48 missed tackles.

    That’s all-round crap rugby.

    What’s more galling is they are making the same fundamental mistakes game after game after game.

    Let’s turn back the clock to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where the top ten at completion were:

    1 – All Blacks 92.89 points
    2 – Wallabies – 90.93
    3 – Springboks 86.80
    4 – Pumas 85.09
    6 – Wales 83.49
    6 – Ireland 81.17
    6 – France 79.78
    8 – England 79.77
    9 – Scotland 77.94
    10 – Japan 77.05

    Since then, there’s a been a dramatic change in the batting order due to these stats. England has won two Six Nations since Eddie Jones took over as coach, making the men in white the best-performed nation in world rugby.

    1 – England has played 20 Tests for 19 wins at 95 per cent
    2 – All Blacks – 19 – 16 – 84.21
    3 – Scotland – 18 – 12 – 66.67
    4 – Ireland – 20 – 12 – 60
    5 – Springboks – 16 – 8 – 50
    5 – Wales – 20 – 10 – 50
    7 – Wallabies – 19 – 8 – 42.11
    8 – France – 18 – 7 – 38.89
    9 – Pumas – 17 – 5 – 29.41
    10 – Italy – 14 – 3 – 21.43

    Now the ultimate crunch with the Wallabies in free fall from number two in the world to number five, and the flying Fijians into the top ten.

    The current world rankings:

    1 – All Blacks 95.21 points
    2 – England 90.14
    3 – Ireland 85.39
    4 – Springboks 84.57
    5 – Wallabies 84.21
    6 – Scotland 82.47
    7 – Wales 81.75
    8 – France 79.65
    9 – Fiji 79.48
    10 – Pumas 79.15

    And there’s worse to come at Dunedin on Saturday, with New Zealand promising to play the full 80 minutes – no declaration.

    Nobody in their right mind would give the Wallabies a chance of victory. But the fans deserve that even in defeat their team show the pride and passion that the gold jersey demands.

    Like the Alan Jones-coached 1984 Wallabies and their history-making Grand Slam and Bledisloe.

    Or the Bobby Dwyer-coached 1991 World Cup winners, and Bledisloe.

    Or the Rod Macqueen-coached 1999 World Cup champions, with Bledisloe, Tri-Nations, and historic 2-1 win over the British and Irish Lions in a two-year period – the Wallabies’ greatest moments.

    There were three damn good reasons why those heights were reached – Andrew Slack won 14 of 19 Tests as captain for 73.68 per cent success.

    Nick Farr-Jones 23 of 36 for 63.89.

    John Eales 41 of 55 for 74.55.

    The current captain, Michael Hooper? He has six from 16 for 37.50.

    It’s enough to make you weep buckets of blood.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (74)

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 9:10am
      krasnoff of noosa said | August 23rd 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Is it really a lack of pride and passion that’s the problem? The team seems to be oblivious of the effect of the flogging its getting. The coaching staff blame the players inability to defend while the players take ‘selfies’ of themselves and family after the match—savoir-faire. And a new, somewhat complex defence system has been introduced to facilitate the fact that our attacking players are not good defenders! What rubbish! Surely examples are legion of good club players who can do better than leak 48 missed tackles in a game! So, it seems the wrong players are selected and those that are playing at national standard lack basic skills. We need a change in coaching or it will be more of the same and the few Oz fans left, will grind down what’s left of their teeth in sheer frustration and anger.

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 9:25am
      Bob Wire said | August 23rd 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

      Did they or did they not declare, I think not, as I have said before – it’s not in their DNA. The All Blacks have said they will be going for it for the full 80 minutes. Based on what I saw in the second half, I hope the Wallabies have something to say about that. The All Blacks pine riders would not have been happy about their input, maybe a nagging doubt in there somewhere?

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 11:38am
        Ruckin Oaf said | August 23rd 2017 @ 11:38am | ! Report

        Yeah I’m sure by the time the AB’s bench took the field they all had questions in the back of their mind.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 7:12pm
        Stephen C said | August 23rd 2017 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

        Initially my thoughts were that the All Blacks took their feet off our throats, allowing the pathetic Wallabies back into the game.
        I still think the effort was beyond poor and totally unacceptable, but I have re-thought the whole ‘they declared’ thing. We keep getting told that ‘Rugby is an 80 minute game’. This adage should also apply to teams like the ABs regardless of how far ahead they are.
        It’s a bit of a double standard that to suggest close losses at the end of the game are indicative of switching off, without acknowledging that a comeback at the end of the game is the complete opposite.
        If the ABs did switch off and concede four tries, that is equally unacceptable in the context of a Test Match. It’s only that they switched off for 30 minutes instead of 50 that saved them.

        The Wallabies were appalling and if it were my choice I would have made knee-jerk wholesale changes, but having calmed down and re-watched the game last night, I don’t actually think the ABs fell asleep, I think we woke up. Way too late admittedly, but there are some positives to take away from that game.

      • August 24th 2017 @ 4:43am
        P2R2 said | August 24th 2017 @ 4:43am | ! Report

        No I doubt you are correct with…’nagging doubt there…’ they had no DOUBT whatsoever, I think you will see the ABs really put the WBs to the sword under the roof at Dunedin…

    • Roar Guru

      August 23rd 2017 @ 9:46am
      DaniE said | August 23rd 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

      Pride and passion? In the other Wallas team… the Wallaroos.

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 9:50am
      Noodles said | August 23rd 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      Well this is the most ridiculous,cheap shot I’ve seen for some time. Anyone who’s played can see that the players are going flat out. It’s also obvious that the game they’re aiming for is a very skilful, pacy attacking game. In bits of last Saturday (the start and chunks of the last 30mins) they’re showing something impressive.
      Defence clearly was confused and some extra execution errors left big opportunities for a very aggressively AB outfit.
      In my mind the core doubt is the defence plan. No one likes the idea that two players don’t defend their channel. Even allowing for that it appears that at least one player (Kerevi) struggled with his role while others (both wings) appeared confused about exactly where they should be. And Folau got lost altogether when Iaeni glided around him.
      Lord is completely wrong. There’s no passion problem. There’s a plan that will either work ir not.
      I’m in favour of seeing whether last saturdays 35mins of footy to plan is delivered for 80. I’m not convinced there are other options.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 10:03am
        Bobbo7 said | August 23rd 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        Exactly. It is unfair to say they lack passion or don’t care – they clearly do, as does Cheika.

        The issues are with coaching, constant changes to positions and defensive confusion. They don’t lack passion.

        Give them another shot and see how they go.

        • August 23rd 2017 @ 10:47am
          Mike said | August 23rd 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          We’ve given them that many shots how many do they need?

          the passion just does not seem to be there. A player that really cared would not be smiling for selfies after the game. What about that photo of Beale being given a watch for being the best of the worst (why is that a prize???) he’s standing there all proud as punch what a day for him he played terribly, fell off tackles after making one of his team mates do all his dirty work as he doesn’t like to defend and he gets a watch and is happily there taking a photo smiling thinking he did great?

          Beale should have given it back and not accepted it he should not be smiling in that photo and most defiantly there shouldn’t be an award for the best loser this isn’t under 6’s!

          This is what the author is writing about, where is the anger that we used to see from past greats when they lost? where’s the disappointment? show some passion would you?!

          To play terribly and lose is one thing but to think that that is a satisfactory performance to the fans who have to pay $200 to come watch you is something else!

          If I got my job right 30% of the time, I’d be fired, these guys get a watch!

          • August 23rd 2017 @ 11:13am
            Jacko said | August 23rd 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

            mike I heard that all the wallabies got a green ribbon for participating…There mums were proud

        • August 23rd 2017 @ 11:01am
          Nigel said | August 23rd 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          Lord talks through his ass!! Plenty of passion in our boys, not to mention and u have to give credit where credit is due, the ABs played at another level, man for man they are far superior to our boys, the skill level is way beyond anything we can produce for now!! Cheika is our biggest disadvantage plus Nathan Gray…..

        • August 23rd 2017 @ 11:46am
          Akari said | August 23rd 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          Add poor selections in the mix and we end up with a really bad outcome. Mick Byrne will have a hard time improving skills if the wrong players are continually given more time to show why they shouldn’t be in the WBs 23 at this time.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 10:40am
        Harry said | August 23rd 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        Disagree. Of course they put in on the field (though the heads do drop). But where is the pride and passion to prepare properly and to the best of your ability?
        To quote Spiro’s mate: Every battle is won or lost before it’s ever fought”.

        • Roar Guru

          August 23rd 2017 @ 3:39pm
          sheek said | August 23rd 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

          You mean Sun-Tzu. Spiro has known him for millennia…..

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 12:45pm
        Ben said | August 23rd 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        Iaeni?

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 7:35pm
        FunBus said | August 23rd 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

        ‘Even allowing for that it appears that one player (Kerevi) struggled with his role…’

        Here’s the difference. In the 1st test in last year’s Oz England series, the WBs scored 2 tries and nearly a third in the first 20 minutes. The English inside centre (Luther Burrell) ‘struggled with his role’ in the defensive pattern. Jones immediately substituted him and England went on to win the game.

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 10:01am
      The Fatman said | August 23rd 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      they need talent not pride and passion

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 10:25am
      Harry said | August 23rd 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      Well agree David but the whole culture is seriously wrong, and has been for some time. Pride and passion isn’t just about matchday performance and effort on the pitch. Its preparing properly and being accountable and honest with yourself and others. Haven’t seen much of that in the top levels of Australian rugby for some time.

      For instance:
      – I also rate Michael Cheika as a coach and leader highly, however it is clear that he is in need of oversight and/or an independent view to challenge him on some matters. Its clear the Wallabies defensive approach has major flaws – what do you expect when you ask inexperienced wingers to defend the midfield and hide other players? That would be a problem for a subbies side on a Sunday morning fronting up after a bender, let alone facing the best team in the world.
      – We are not fair dinkum in our preparation – Beale, McMahon and Kerevi hadn’t played for months, Rona was highly inexperienced at wing play, they hadn’t played any rugby for a month – and were an untried and brittle lineup that duly got thrashed. We all hoped not but feared the worst. Where is the pride to ensure that the players taking the field were hardened and up for the battle?
      -The Tah-centric selections that treat the Wallabies as a development squad. Hanigan, Dempsey, Robertson are barely Super Rugby standard, and completely undeserving of Wallaby jerseys.
      – I’m sorry but the after match blatherings of the Wallaby group – coaches and players – were really depressing listening. I get the need to be circumspect about what you say, but the whole approach was one of deniability, clutching at straws and glossing over obvious weaknesses.

      I really hope the NZ media get stick into the players and Cheika this week – bring out the clown masks and general derision.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 23rd 2017 @ 7:38pm
        Shane D said | August 23rd 2017 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

        Don’t encourage the media Harry. Much prefer to read about actual rugby stories rather than grubby nonsense.

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