Defensive effort gives Wallabies confidence ahead of tour

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A mammoth defensive effort against Argentina has given the Wallabies an extra dose of confidence heading into a brutal road trip.

After a quick fire 21-0 start in Perth, the Pumas turned the tables on the Wallabies, dominating possession and forcing the home side to make 97 first half tackles, with 168for the game.

It was a far cry from the leaky defence that the Wallabies showed against the All Blacks a month ago, missing 40 tackles in the opening Bledisloe.

That Pumas captain Agustin Creevy opted for shots at goal in that time was the greatest reflection of their defensive efficiency, halfback Will Genia said.

“When you get the ball, everyone will light up because everyone wants to touch the ball that’s what rugby’s all about is attacking but defensively, that’s where you show your character,” he said.

“That’s where you show what your identity’s about and I guess it was a testament in a sense, the fact that he went for goal at different periods.”

After finally notching back-to-back victories, with wins against South Africa and Argentina, the Wallabies now need to try and take their success on the road, something that the victories will certainly help with.

“I think winning gives you confidence in what you’re doing,” he said.

“You know that the hard work that you put in at training is coming to fruition.”

Genia warned, though, that progress must be kept in perspective as they prepare for Tests in Pretoria, London and Auckland, before the Spring Tour.

“It’s one of those things where we can’t get too carried away,” he said.

“The fact that we, all the rest of the games for the rest of the year are away, we’ve just to keep working as hard as we are and keep grounded, not get too carried away.

“I think if we just concentrate on the process, rather than thinking about getting wins here and there, we’ll do well.”

Lock Adam Coleman said building momentum would be crucial on the upcoming tours.

“If you look ahead, a lot of our games are away so it’s something we’ve got to learn to enjoy and really thrive in that environment,” he said.