'Courageous' Wallabies praised

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 10:03
Large mike harris talks 630 Large deans   beale 630 Large kurtleybealepumas

The weakened Wallabies pulled off one of Australian's most courageous triumphs in defeating Argentina at intimidating Rosario, newspapers said Monday.

The weakened Wallabies pulled off one of Australian's most courageous triumphs in defeating Argentina at intimidating Rosario, newspapers said Monday.

Laser beams were shone in the faces of Australian place kickers Mike Harris and Kurtley Beale as the Wallabies downed the Pumas 25-19 at the weekend to finish runners-up behind the All Blacks in the four-nation tournament.

The makeshift Wallabies, without many of their influential stars and backing up after a week in South Africa, had to dig deep to beat Argentina, who were playing in their first southern hemisphere series.

"A battered Wallabies line-up, nearly a second XV, stood up to this massive challenge and achieved one of Australian rugby's most courageous triumphs in recent times by defeating the Pumas in a grim, gritty Test at Gigante de Arroyito stadium," The Sydney Morning Herald's Greg Growden said.

"Apart from saving their coach Robbie Deans, the Wallabies again showed they are the masters of excelling when everything is seemingly against them. They are the ultimate backs-to-the-wall merchants."

The Australian angled its report on the under-siege Wallabies' coach Robbie Deans, who has been fighting to hold on to his job ahead of next year's tour by the British and Irish Lions.

"The Wallabies' against-the-odds win against Argentina in Rosario has almost certainly saved the job of coach Robbie Deans," the paper's Brett Harris wrote.

"After losing the first two Rugby Championship Tests to the All Blacks, the Wallabies needed to finish second in the Rugby Championship and regain their No. 2 world ranking for Deans to be secure.

"The fact the Wallabies achieved both objectives in extraordinary circumstances means Deans will see out the last year of his contract."

Colleague Wayne Smith said if the Pumas had won, Deans's position would have been almost untenable and the reality check could come in the final Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in Brisbane later this month.

"Deans can now point to the fact that the Wallabies, for all their trials and tribulations, still finished second behind the All Blacks on the championship table," Smith said.

"And no one else managed to defeat the All Blacks, even though the Springboks gave it a far better shake than the Wallabies.

"The reality check might well come in the final Bledisloe Test in a fortnight but by that stage the (European) tour will be only two weeks away - too late, Deans supporters would argue, to make a change of coach."

The Daily Telegraph said there was a "new low" for spectator behaviour when some Argentine fans pointed lasers at Australian goal-kickers.

"The lasers cast a shadow over an occasion the Wallabies had wanted to use to strengthen ties between the two rugby playing nations," the paper's Iain Payten said.

AFP

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