Australia lost to Argentina 19-23 in a Rugby Championship match. This loss makes them languish at the bottom of the table after 4 rounds of matches. The Wallabies have also plummeted to the 7th position in the World rankings which is an all-time low for them. Moreover, Michael Cheika now has a less than 50 percent winning record as the Australian coach and it is not acceptable by any means.
The pressure on Cheika would definitely increase now but it cannot be denied that the Pumas have improved significantly under the tutelage of Mario Ledesma, the former assistant coach of the Wallabies. Still, it does not quite explain Cheika’s unimpressive record as the Wallabies coach.
Rugby Australia would perhaps want to persist with Cheika until the 2019 World Cup but things are unlikely to improve for them with Cheika at the helm. Some significant changes need to be made in the team’s set-up to rejuvenate the players and turn things around for the Wallabies. There is no magic pill for success but a stern decision at the correct time might just be the first step towards the right direction.
We would like to take a look at the 3 major talking points from yesterday’s game:
#1 Reece Hodge should be the example to follow for the Wallabies
The young players in the Australian team would do well to follow the example of Reece Hodge instead of more experienced and fancied players such as David Pocock, Michael Hooper and Will Genia. Hodge has played only around 20 tests for the Wallabies but has shown considerable character and grit in his relatively short international career so far.
Hodge was instrumental in 2 of the tried scored by the Wallabies against Argentina. He had also scored a try himself against the All Blacks at the Eden Park. He is one of the few Wallabies capable of passing the ball quickly and therefore, an obvious asset for the team. He also has good vision and won’t do a lousy job if he played as the no. 10. The fact that he has a great kick on him adds to his overall value as a player and if his fellow players followed his example and contributed to the team’s cause. Likewise, the Wallabies would have performed significantly better.