Australia v Argentina, Rugby Championship
Wallabies to dumb it down or simply play smarter?
September 9, 2013
Backrower Ben McCalman say the Wallabies don't need to shelve their attacking mindset © Getty Images
Do the Wallabies need to dumb it down or simply play smarter?
That's the question facing coach Ewen McKenzie ahead of Saturday night's Test against Argentina in Perth. McKenzie says he might simplify his tactics after last week's 38-12 hammering at the hands of South Africa in Brisbane.
The Wallabies made a host of errors in that match, and too often swung the ball wide before the forwards had the chance to gain valuable ground. The Springboks also dominated the breakdown, giving super boot Morne Steyn a number of easy shots on goal.
McKenzie has overseen three straight defeats since taking the reins from Robbie Deans, and a loss to Argentina would place further heat on the former Reds boss. Wallabies forward Ben McCalman believes the current tactics employed by McKenzie are sound, but said the team just needed to get a better feel of when to swing the ball wide.
"I feel like on the weekend we played a bit too lateral before we took the ball forward," McCalman said on Monday. "We want that style of rugby that everyone recognises as the Australian style - expansive, throwing the ball around. But on the weekend we didn't deserve the right to play with the width when we did. We didn't take the ball forward first. So it's certainly a big focus - giving the backs a solid platform to attack from."
Greg Growden assesses the Brisbane performance%]
Argentina have been competitive in recent losses to South Africa and New Zealand. The Wallabies haven't lost to Argentina since 1997, but only prevailed by four points when the teams met in Australia last year.
Quade Cooper failed to fire last week against the Springboks, but might get the chance to redeem himself against Los Pumas.