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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

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
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