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Judgment day for Deans


Owen Finegan

There is mounting pressure on Wallabies coach Robbie Deans after the mercurial Quade Cooper's comments about the toxic environment within the squad, coupled with declining performances from the national team.

Another loss this week against Argentina will see even more fans of Ewen McKenzie coming out of the woodwork.

Even the most impartial Wallabies fan would have to be worried about the decline in their team's performances. Last year's Tri Nations champions have now also lost their No.2 IRB ranking and tomorrow face an Argentinian team yearning for a taste of victory.

Despite the mounting injury toll on the Wallabies, there can't be any excuses. The team still looks strong enough on paper. I think what's required is an attitude change.

Tomorrow is a great opportunity for some of the players who have been on the periphery to stand up and be counted.

The players must understand the honour of representing Australia and rip into the opposition with ferocity because you don't want to let your mates down.

In rugby's short professional history it has proved where there is smoke there is fire.

The first signs of player dissatisfaction with Deans surfaced last year with his tumultuous relationship with Matt Giteau and his subsequent non-selection for the World Cup. Now recent revelations from Cooper have added to speculation of discontent within the Wallabies squad. Another loss could dilute the support that Deans has with the powerbrokers of Australian rugby.

This was the case with successful coaches when player dissent at the Waratahs led to McKenzie being replaced after leading them to the Super Rugby finals. David Nucifora was replaced at the Brumbies after winning a Super Rugby title.

Coaches at all levels of success are susceptible if they lose the support of their senior players.

Player dissatisfaction with the performance of former Western Force coach John Mitchell led to him being shown the door as was Andy Friend after player unrest at the Brumbies. A coach's previous record and reputation counts for nothing when they start to lose the support of your players.

There is a lot riding on this match. After an ordinary loss to South Africa and with media intensifying over Cooper's comments, the pressure on the Wallabies is mounting.

The Argentinians grow another leg when they play at home. They showed that against South Africa, where they were unlucky not to win.

I was involved in the last Wallabies squad beaten in Argentina in 1997. They talk about the Munster fans in Ireland being the 16th man, in Argentina they also have a 17th.

The atmosphere can be very daunting if the local crowd get a sniff of victory. It will be a case of backs against the wall and coming out all guns blazing.

Owen Finegan played 92 Super Rugby matches and 56 Tests

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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