Winning ugly was the name of the game for the Wallabies to kick off the Spring Tour, squeaking past a gritty Japan 32-23 to extend their winning streak to five.
With plenty of improvement to be made before the squad heads to the UK, it’s the perfect time to dissect it all in this week’s edition of Coach’s Corner.
In case you’re new here: every Friday, Nick Bishop, The Roar’s resident rugby expert, comes on deck to answer all your questions from the weird and wacky world of rugby.
Just a few months ago, any win was cause for celebration for Wallabies fans: but now, having seen them at their best in four straight Rugby Championship wins over the Springboks and Argentina, performances like Saturday’s don’t quite cut the mustard for supporters… or, for that matter, coach Dave Rennie.
Where will the Wallabies need to get better ahead of a true litmus test against Scotland, Ireland and England in the near future?
Meanwhile, the withdrawal of Marika Koroibete from the squad for family reasons saw Tom Wright get his chance as starting winger, while Hunter Paisami stepped in for the injured Samu Kerevi and Jordan Petaia had nearly a full match after the early loss of Reece Hodge.
Did the trio do enough to secure spots in the starting XV over in Europe… or should the looming return of some locally-based internationals take priority?
Elsewhere, the All Blacks ran riot in a 104-14 demolition job of the USA, but even more encouraging for the New Zealanders than the result was the performance of new kid on the block Finlay Christie at 9. The scrum-half spot might now be the most hotly contested in the All Blacks line-up: did Christie do enough to stamp his claim on it moving forward?
Got any other questions following the Wallabies’ first match against Japan – or anything else from the world of rugby? Nick – and us – can’t wait to hear them. So get asking in the comments below and, of course, check back in on The Roar on Friday to see the answers.