Wallabies coach still 'grumpy' after latest win
REACTION: The Wallabies are riding a four-year high but that won’t stop coach Dave Rennie getting grumpy as he sinks his teeth further into the rebuilding team.
A 27-8 defeat of a plucky Argentina in Townsville on Saturday ensured Australia avoided any banana peel moments for a third-straight Rugby Championship win.
But some sloppy moments clearly frustrated Rennie, who admitted to some nervous moments when Los Pumas mounted a second-half challenge.
“We’re always looking for perfection aren’t we?,” he said.
“It’ll be pretty clear to the boys; we’re happy to win no doubt but against good sides like Argentina you’ve got to put them out to the contest when you get the chance.
“They dominated the third 20 minutes and if they scored again it was going to be an arm wrestle.
“But it gives us a chance to be grumpy through the review after a win.”
Samu Kerevi continued his fine form since rejoining the squad, making 90 metres on 14 carries with six tackle breaks, three line breaks and a try.
His powerful running game gave measured No.10 Quade Cooper a constant option and left Argentina coach Mario Ledesma, a former Wallabies assistant, in admiration.
“I think he’s more mature and maybe fitter from what I remember,” Ledesma said of Japan-based Kerevi, who has credited his improved physique to his participation in Australia’s Olympic Sevens campaign.
Not since winning four consecutive games in 2017 – part of a seven-game unbeaten streak that included two draws against South Africa – have the Wallabies enjoyed such a prolonged period of success.
“We’re pleased to get the win; we drew these games [two against Argentina] last year, so it’s pleasing to take a step forward,” captain Michael Hooper said.
“We’re sticking to the script, mostly.
“There’s improvement there but we’re on board, creating some belief in what Wallaby rugby looks like.”
Australia will complete their Rugby Championship with an Argentina rematch on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Rennie said in-form win Marika Koroibete would leave the squad for some well-earned family time before returning for the end-of-year tour.
That opens a position on the edge, potentially for Jordan Petaia to earn some more minutes after limited cameos off the bench this past month.
Rennie also hinted Japan-based backrower Sean McMahon, added to the squad courtesy of the Giteau Law’s relaxation, would make his Test return after a four-year absence.