Aussie press savage Wallabies after England loss
November 4, 2013
The Australian press savaged the "woeful" Wallabies on Monday after England exposed their inadequacies on the first match of their European tour, with much of the criticism directed at coach Ewen McKenzie.
England came from behind to win 20-13 at Twickenham on Saturday as the Wallabies' bid for a tour "Grand Slam" toppled at the first hurdle. Australia's rugby writers were in malevolent mood as the team chalked up their sixth defeat in eight games under new coach McKenzie.
"This was a loss to a developing English team with an erratically functioning lineout and faulty goalkicker, and unfamiliar combinations throughout - yet the hosts were mildly miffed with the style of the win," The Sydney Morning Herald's Paul Cully said.
"That is an insight to how the Wallabies are really perceived despite flattery in the lead-up. There is blood in the water on this tour and every side in Europe knows it."
The Australian's Bret Harris said: "The dream is over. Australia, wake up! The Wallabies' loss to England has not only ended their chance of winning the Grand Slam, but has continued their regression under new coach McKenzie, who now has a 20% winning record. The Wallabies now have to pick up the pieces of a broken dream and find a way through the rest of what is shaping up as a very treacherous tour."
What should cause the authorities as much concern as the result is the fact that the match barely warranted half a page in any of the papers, buried deep inside the sport sections.
Greg Growden, writing for ESPNscrum.com, said Australia could not look for scapegoats.
"The Wallabies had enough possession, enough time in important attacking positions, to get themselves out of the mire. But they lacked the intelligence, the plan and the confidence to finish it off, just like any team that has lost the knack of winning. And when you are relying on players woefully out of form, nothing of value gets finished off. The Wallabies are masters of talking themselves up, but when the big moment arrives, you discover their talk is so, so cheap."
Australia play Italy next week before facing Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
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