The Roar
The Roar



From the outside looking in, Australia's defeat to Argentina was coming

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22nd August, 2022

The second Test between Argentina and Australia hit many people like a bucket of ice water.

The first Test was a rollercoaster that had the most dramatic part at the start before getting boring, ending in a comfortable victory for the Aussies.

We all know what happened in the second Test and it was definitely a shock for some.

However, for me as an England fan who looks in to Aussie rugby rather than out, I feel that people have been too optimistic about the Wallabies for a while.

This loss was coming.

First, we have to look at the inevitable impact of injuries. I hate to remind you that Jed Holloway, Quade Cooper, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Samu Kerevi, Andrew Kellaway, Dave Pocketi, Rob Leota and Folau Fainga’a are all out. That’s all a long, long list – probably the longest list of any international team – which has to be taken into consideration.

Particularly since Cooper’s return, excitement has been growing. Expectations have risen, talk is now that anything other than semi-finals at the World Cup is unacceptable. Fourth is not good enough.

These are predictions without any realism.


The best four teams in the world are, in no particular order, France, South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland, even with the Kiwis’ current troubles. I don’t see the top four changing come summer 2023 and whoever is in charge, New Zealand will have fixed the mess that they are in.

Coach Ian Foster looks on during a New Zealand All Blacks Training Session at Sky Stadium on July 26, 2022 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Ian Foster (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Australia are not even best of the rest, with that title belonging to England. Australia are even below Scotland in the world rankings, but that’s incorrect.

But the injuries! Don’t forget about the injuries! Yes, I know, but the Wallabies’ squad lacks the depth and consistent quality of the top-four nations.

It seems that as expectations have risen, so have opinions about the quality of Australia’s players.

For years, Michael Hooper was praised for being the shining light in a corridor of darkness, that we can’t expect much of this team because it’s simply not good enough, but suddenly he is not allowed that praise.

What happened? While the squad has been slowly improving, it simply cannot match that of the best. That is an unavoidable fact. So why are expectations so high?


After the positivity of the two victories over South Africa last year, it seemed like the Wallabies were on the up. It was an optimistic future, with Cooper leading Australia to a new chapter.

This came after the disappointment of the Bledisloe and Australian rugby was crying out for some positivity. When it came, it was duly embraced with two arms, and there had been nothing major since to damage that spirit.

Which leads us to why the Argentina loss was not a massive surprise.

Anyone can lose to anyone and if you combine that with a squad that is not incredible (I never said it was bad) and an extraordinary injury list, this result is not unusual.

The Aussies are tired of not being at the top of the table, but they might have to be tired for a little longer.