Australia 12-38 South Africa, Rugby Championship
Lynagh puts boot into Wallabies
ESPN Staff
September 8, 2013
Michael Lynagh fields questions from the media, London Zoo, April 25, 2013
Former Wallabies fly-half Michael Lynagh did not hold back in his assessment of the Wallabies' performance © Getty Images

Wallabies great Michael Lynagh has described the Wallabies as being "in a huge hole" after being thrashed by 38-12 South Africa on Saturday night.

The former fly-half told Sky Sports in the UK that Ewen McKenzie's honeymoon period is now well and truly over and that, if anything, the side is going backwards.

"This whole year has not been good and I don't think the team is getting any better - if anything it is getting worse," Lynagh said. "We didn't look like scoring, our defence was very poor - something that has been a factor for the last few games - our scrum has gone backwards, our attack is too predictable and there were many handling errors."

Lynagh also delivered a serve to winger James O'Connor after seeing him smiling and laughing with South Africa's players after the full-time whistle.

"I am really disappointed at the moment as there is no aspect of the play where you'd say: 'That looks promising,'" he said. "Australia are in a huge hole and I think that is because they have got too comfortable. James O'Connor was laughing with the Springboks at the end and while it's okay to be a good sportsman, I don't think a willy-nilly performance like that hurts them enough. They need to have a long hard look at themselves and start working harder as the honeymoon period for McKenzie is certainly over."

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers offered kinder words to the humiliated hosts, claiming a combination of factors had contributed the Wallabies' plight.

"They are in a sticky situation," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's never easy. New coach, they play the All Blacks twice, their captain gets injured on the Tuesday, so it's a snowball effect. You feel for them in a way. We're just happy we were on the other side tonight," he said.

The skipper also praised Israel Folau, who was again under-utilised by his Wallabies team-mates.

"I told Israel Folau afterwards that it's so great to see a guy like him signing on with union. To see a guy like him, he's going to become a massive player in this game," de Villiers said.

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