It’s marvellous what a little success can do – and the Wallabies’ 44-15 defeat of an indifferent Scotland was only a little success.
Still, that’s a helluva lot better than a resounding loss at the hands of a good side (Ireland) or a draw against an average side (Wales) or a sloppy win against another indifferent team (Italy) and we won’t mention losing to the Ospreys.
And, yes, it’s always worth the price of a ticket or loss of sleep when S. Larkham is having a blinder, singlehandedly making the difference between just an Italy-quality win and a haggis thrashing.
But we Wallaby fans have come to enjoy worrying and there’s still plenty to worry about. For a start, you might think the Scotland game would kill the nonsense of playing Larkham anywhere except five-eighth – but according to Greg Growden the Wallaby selectors haven’t realised that.
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And the Giteau experiment also needs some perspective. After his very encouraging opening game against Wales at half-back, he was never near as flash again on this tour.
I couldn’t help remembering how Giteau had one ripper of a game at five-eighth for Australia on a European tour a couple of years ago but has never replicated that form in a gold jumper since. Even the Scottish captain was advising him to move back to 12 and by the sound of his own reported comments, that’s what Giteau wants to do as well. Pray regularly for Sam Cordingly’s recovery, rugby fans.
Then there were the line-outs. The Wallabies finally found a team small enough and weak enough for them to out-scrum, but by my count we lost as many of our own line-outs as we won. Ridiculous.
But the biggest worry is coach Knuckles pretending there were no negatives about this tour, that everything is on track for the World Cup. Oh please – people have been committed for saying less foolish things.
Context was again provided by the All Blacks who whipped Wales 45-10. That’s the Wales we allowed to score 29 points for a draw.