Wallabies on the cusp of something great
Scrumhalf Nic White says a week is enough time for the Wallabies to iron out the kinks and deliver an improved Rugby Championship performance against Argentina in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Wallabies fell to South Africa 17-35 in Johannesburg, but White felt they weren’t far away from a complete performance.
Two bombed first-half tries would have given Australia the halftime lead at Ellis Park and perhaps a different result.
“It may have been a little bit clunky, but we feel that we’re putting a few things in place and that we’re not far away,” White said.
“We are trying to do things a bit differently so there’s going to be a few teething problems but I felt like in that first half when we were patient we were creating opportunities.
“If a few of those opportunities go to hand that game looks a lot different so it’s not panic stations.
“We need to work on a few things and make sure we take those moments and I think that’s something we can turn around in a week.”
The Test was White’s first in four years after taking his career off-shore and he looked right at home with sharp passing and a clever kicking game.
Against the Pumas, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika may opt to give Brumbies No.9 Joe Powell a chance to push his World Cup claims, however, White certainly did his own no harm.
“It’s good to be back but I want the results now,” White said.
“We’ve got to be able to take opportunities when they come and if those ones come, I’m happy to take them.”
White may cross paths with his former Exeter teammate Santiago Cordero, who sat out the Pumas’ 16-20 loss to the All Blacks.
White said the 25-year-old wing, who was a stand-out with the Eagles before signing for Bordeaux, was hard to handle.
“That bloke can dead-set step blokes in a phone box,” White said.
“I’ve obviously played against a few other Argie boys and they are tough guys to play.
“They are a good team and they’re very athletic, muscly guys. We’re going to have our hands full.”
Argentina upset the Wallabies on the Gold Coast last year and will take some confidence from the All Blacks game and the Super Rugby performance of the Jaguares, who reached the Final.
Cheika is likely to make changes for tactical and form reasons as well as to freshen up the side after the long haul from Johannesburg.
Marika Koroibete, who missed the Springboks match due to a new baby, will come in to add some much-needed strike power on the wing.
Christian Lealiifano may replace Bernard Foley depending on his shoulder injury, while there could be some changes to the second row despite a solid performance.
With injuries to four leading props, the front-row may be a case of who’s available, with Scott Sio (adductor) hopeful to play.