Wallabies coach gives blunt assessment after record loss to Pumas
REACTION: Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie admitted that his team was not up to standard in their record loss to Argentina in San Juan on Saturday.
The Wallabies will return to Australia for two Tests against world champions South Africa with their pride dented by a seven-tries-to-two 17-48 flogging.
On the back of the thumping bonus-point victory, the Pumas moved to the top of the Rugby Championship standings after the Springboks and All Blacks also split their results over their two games.
The Wallabies were outplayed in every department in San Juan with Micheal Cheika breathing fire into his Pumas side following their opening Test loss in Mendoza.
“Massive disappointment,” was the assessment by Dave Rennie.
“We conceded four tries with kicks in behind us and certainly got dominated in the collision area.
“We want to earn the respect of the country and you don’t do it with a performance like that.”
#ICYMI: Argentina gained revenge on Australia for last week’s defeat with a seven-try bonus point 48-17 victory in the Rugby Championship on Saturday. 👇#RugbyChampionship #Australia #Argentina #Wallabies #LosPumas #ARGvAUS https://t.co/ASMHMZaspO
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) August 14, 2022
Australia had a James O’Connor try, which would have given them the lead, disallowed in the 20th minute in a baffling refereeing decision and the Pumas scored minutes later in 14-point swing.
Referee Karl Dickson and the TMO deemed an earlier clean-out by Slipper was illegal.
It proved a turning point with the remainder of the game almost one-way traffic.
“It was just the way they saw it – it was a pretty important call as at the time it would have put us in front but you’ve got to take that,” Rennie said.
“We created opportunities that if you nail you stay in the game and can build some pressure, but we couldn’t buy a trick, especially second half.”
Rennie said his team paid for poor decision-making, after they threw passes that weren’t on with winger Jordan Petaia one of the culprits.
The shining lights were powerhouse loose foward Rob Valetini and wing Marika Koroibete, who pulled off a try-saving tackle late in the first half.
The Australians should have hookers Dave Porecki and Folau Fainga’a and centre Hunter Paisami, who all suffered concussion on tour, available to meet the Springboks in Adelaide on August 27.
Outside back Andrew Kellaway and props Angus Bell and Scott Sio, who didn’t travel due to injury, are also set to return.
There’s no word on when Hooper, who flew home for mental health reasons, will return to the squad.
While he admitted lack of cohesion hurt his team Rennie said the returning players wouldn’t be a quick fix.
“We had a good enough side to do the job … whoever pulls the jersey on has got to front and we weren’t good enough,” he said.
“We’ve got to be better and we’ve got to own that – it’s on us as coaches and it’s on the players.”