Smart Wallabies won't 'dumb down'

Wed, 11 Sep 2013 08:52
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Australia believe they can only progress by playing an intelligent, expansive game and won't retreat into their shells.

Australia believe they can only progress by playing an intelligent, expansive game and won't retreat into their shells.

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie, who on Wednesday took the biggest gamble of his short and winless international career, said his team will not discard their all-out attacking game plan - in stark contrast to comments earlier in the week when he suggested he wants to "dumb down" the team's approach.

McKenzie, who named Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White in place of stalwart Will Genia for Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against Argentina, suggested the Australia were over-complicating their game plan.

However, he retained noted freewheeler Quade Cooper at flyhalf and made it clear the shackles will remain off.

The Wallabies are spending the week in Perth, as they look to secure their first victory of the 2013 Rugby Championship.

McKenzie said he was disappointed by the performances of the Wallabies to this point, but was confident they could turn it around by adjusting some elements of their gameplan.

"We made it clear before our first game against New Zealand that this group had very strong ideas around how they wanted to approach and play each game," he said.

"Australia is renowned for smart, attractive and running rugby and there is a continued determination from the coaching staff and players to play with ambition and flair.

"We aren't moving away from this philosophy.

"Within this framework though we've worked hard during the week to provide the team with further clarity on certain areas to ensure we are making smarter decisions in different parts of the field.

"By doing this we will endeavour to remove some of the pressure we are applying on ourselves and shift that pressure to the opposing team.

"Rugby is a game of chess and we will look forward to the challenge of getting the right balance and our first Rugby Championship win."

Ordinarily Australia would be expected to beat Argentina on home soil and give McKenzie his first win since replacing Robbie Deans as coach.
However, the manner of last week's capitulation, when Australia conceded three tries in nine minutes midway through the second half to lose a Test to the Springboks in Brisbane for the first time since 1971, suggests an Argentina victory is a strong possibility.

Also of concern is the fact that the Wallabies have lost five of their past six Tests and Perth is not a rugby stronghold.
Both Argentina and Australia are bidding for their first win in the tournament.

Australia's loss to South Africa followed back-to-back defeats to New Zealand.
The Pumas opened with a 13-73 away loss to the Springboks, but rallied to push South Africa all the way in a narrow defeat at home.

They're coming into the match following a 13-28 loss to New Zealand.

Argentina have not beaten the Wallabies since an 18-16 win in Buenos Aires in 1997, and it has been 30 years since their only win over the Wallabies in Australia.