Clear and present danger: Nic White gets a kick in against Argentina. Photo: AFP
Rookie Test halfback Nic White has a long-term goal to keep Will Genia on the Wallabies bench as Australia search for a game plan with the ''right balance''.
White was outstanding in his starting debut against Argentina, his kicking game a key in the 14-13 win in horrible conditions.
It's just a matter of getting the attitude and tactics right ... You have to be smart.
The Wallabies used tactical kicking to beat the Pumas, a shift from the run-from-everywhere approach in the first three Tests under coach Ewen McKenzie.
The tactics were largely dictated by the wet and windy conditions. McKenzie denied the Wallabies had ''abandoned'' their desire to play attacking rugby.
White, 23, has given McKenzie a significant selection headache as he ponders whether to keep the Brumbies No.9 or give Genia a chance to regain form against South Africa on September 29.
''I'm very keen [to keep the starting spot]. It's a big opportunity not just to see if I'm capable of playing Test rugby but to keep the No.9 jersey,'' White said.
''I went out there with a plan to play well, do my part and help the team get a win. I didn't have doubts, but I knew it was going to be tough to get the No.9 jersey off Will. I knew this opportunity wouldn't come very often.''
The Wallabies had to win ugly against Argentina to start restoring respect after losing four Tests in a row. The ARU wants McKenzie's team to use a high-tempo, attacking game plan. But in four Rugby Championship Tests, the Wallabies have scored just four tries, the least of all teams.
The wind and constant rain limited the back-line attacking chances against Argentina. McKenzie said the Wallabies had to find the right mix of territory and attack.
In the first three Tests of McKenzie's tenure, the Wallabies had more possession and field position but lost all three games. Against Argentina they had less ball and spent time in their own half, but held on for a gutsy win.
''I think we're getting game balance … We ran the ball less than Argentina and we won,'' McKenzie said. ''Carrying the ball isn't a magnificent KPI at the moment, which is disappointing. That's just the way it is. Conditions were treacherous [against Argentina].
''It's just a matter of getting the attitude and tactics right. We just want to have the flexibility and ability to adapt. You have to be smart about how you go about it.''
The Wallabies finished with an all-Brumbies combination on the field, with Ben Mowen at No.8, White at halfback, Matt Toomua at five-eighth and Christian Lealiifano at inside-centre. Keeping the quartet could be an option for playing against South Africa in Cape Town in two weeks.
However, Quade Cooper was strong at five-eighth in a forwards-dominated match and was physical in defence.
''I thought Quade managed the game in conjunction with Nic. It was a pretty straight up-and-down game … He's often criticised in that [tackling] space but I thought he was good there,'' McKenzie said.
Mowen said Toomua's kick for touch with time running out was a turning point.
''When he put that grubber through and we got a lineout in their half, I saw the Argentinian heads drop a bit,'' he said.