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Lynagh sinks in boot as feel-good factor ends for McKenzie

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Bryan Habana of the Springboks intercepts the ball during The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the South African Springboks at Suncorp Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images) Click for more photos

Wallabies' woes continue under McKenzie

The Wallabies were unceremoniously dumped by a rampant Springboks side in Brisbane. Photo: Getty Images

Wallaby great Michael Lynagh has ripped into the Wallabies after they were walloped by the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday night, saying the side is going backwards and don’t hurt enough from losses. 

In a stinging assessment of the side under coach Ewen McKenzie, a team-mate of his in the Wallaby squad at the 1991 World Cup, Lynagh told Sky Sports in the UK the honeymoon period under the new management was well and truly over. 

Certainly McKenzie is having an early ideological crisis of sorts, saying after the game he may have to dumb things down to match the current skillset of his group, which turned over masses of ball and were mugged at the breakdown by the rampant Springbok loose forwards. 

If it looked exceedingly average in Brisbane, it looked even worse from the other side of the planet, with Lynagh holding little back while delivering his verdict on Australia’s fourth-consecutive Test defeat. 

“This whole year has not been good and I don’t think the team is getting any better - if anything it is getting worse,” Lynagh said. 

“We didn't look like scoring, our defence was very poor - something that has been a factor for the last few games - our scrum has gone backwards, our attack is too predictable and there were many handling errors.” 

Lynagh said he didn’t appreciate footage of James O’Connor laughing and smiling with Springbok players after the 38-12 defeat. 

“I am really disappointed at the moment as there is no aspect of the play where you’d say: ‘That looks promising’. Australia are in a huge hole and I think that is because they have got too comfortable. 

"James O'Connor was laughing with the Springboks at the end and while it’s okay to be a good sportsman, I don’t think a willy-nilly performance like that hurts them enough. 

“They need to have a long hard look at themselves and start working harder as the honeymoon period for McKenzie is certainly over.” 

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers had more sympathy for the side he had just helped take to pieces, saying a new coach, new players, a new ethos and late injuries made for a lethal cocktail. 

“They are in a sticky situation. It’s never easy. New coach, they play the All Blacks twice, their captain gets injured on the Tuesday, so it’s a snowball effect. You feel for them in a way. We’re just happy we were on the other side tonight,” he said. 

The Boks were ruthless on the park but afterwards, de Villiers had some words of encouragement for Israel Folau, who underplayed his hand at fullback and failed to inject himself into the backline with any venom. 

“I told Israel Folau afterwards that it’s so great to see a guy like him signing on with union. To see a guy like him, he’s going to become a massive player in this game,” de Villiers said. 

Before opening his press conference, South African coach Heyneke Meyer thanked God for all of his help. 

At this point, Ewen McKenzie could do with some divine intervention of his own.



  • Ah look,
    When Michael Lynagh says that the Wallaby scrum is going backwards he is not just speaking metaphorically is he?

    Tom Callaghan
    Date and time
    September 08, 2013, 12:43AM
    • The forwards are simply not in the same league as the All Blacks and Springboks. The backline is and centres in Autralia are all average.
      It will be a long time before Australia reaches the top again..........we need a new crop of much more talented players...they may still be in primary school though....

      Date and time
      September 08, 2013, 2:38PM
    • Our scrum is still an issue clearly. Horwill is not the brightest card in the pack and can hardly speak properly. I think he wasn't a good choice actually.

      At least we're getting some help from the SA captain. Supportive words from an opposing player of his stature would have done more to cement Folau in the game than anything anyone here could have said.

      Are our forwards for real? They are slow to breakdowns, don't support the ball carrier, can't catch, can't hang onto the ball and are continually disorganised in attack.

      It's plain embarrassing. And if they start crowing if they beat the Pumas I'll vomit.

      Date and time
      September 08, 2013, 6:28PM
    • And now its "BRAAI TIME"...with the latest edited version of INVICTUS being the thrashing of the Wallebies on 07 September 2013!!!!!!!! HA HA HA

      Martin Fick
      Date and time
      September 08, 2013, 7:17PM
  • Our fwds were muppets. We are missing a lot of guys there. No silver bullets left...

    Date and time
    September 08, 2013, 12:46AM
    • Agree with Noddy entirely. I'm over it now, the last good game Aust played, was 2011 when we beat NZ going into the WC when Radike busted open the AB defense. That's a long time between drinks. People can't be expected to wait over 3 years for a team to hit their straps. Ps apologies to Robbie Deans....... On behalf of many oz rugby fans who thought there was a simple fix...

      Date and time
      September 08, 2013, 12:46AM
      • When being considered for the job, did Ewen tick the vital box: proven track record of success? He won a Super 15 tournament when the NZ teams were resting key players for the RWC. The fairly mediocre state Qld rugby was in when he left should have rang alarm bells. But don't blame the ARU, as they were under huge pressure from the public to appoint Ewen. The polls on line were all heavily in favour of Ewen. Meanwhile, far and away the best performances by Aussie teams in 2013 have been by Jake White's Brumbies.

        And tonight Oz has elected another guy to a top job, despite his record... If the new PM could do one thing to please sports fans across the land he should set up some structure to improve coaching, as right now in so many sports, we are rubbish - and it hurts!

        Date and time
        September 08, 2013, 1:43AM
        • Agreed. The Genia Cooper pairing did not work. Time for White and Toomua. For the two games Mogg has played with a few errors, he's still a better fullback. Bring him back. Bring Sam Carter in, too. Get some mongrel back. Cummins, despite a few early clangers showed a lot of heart. He should stay.
          George Smith is sorely missed!
          Fat Cat and Slips to start in the front.

          Date and time
          September 08, 2013, 9:43AM
        • @Wobbled you do realise that Ewan inherited a terrible Reds side when he first got the role and then turned them into Premiers don't you? Please stop ranting! Everyone is upset that the Wallabies are currently worthless, but the main cause as I see it is confidence and combinations. Both of those things will come. Also don't forget we have a heavy injury burden.
          That said, JOC should have his a@se handed to him for carrying on after the game like it didn't matter. If it doesn't matter to you son get out.

          Date and time
          September 08, 2013, 12:19PM
      • Wallabies will smash the Pumas and watch them talk like they've defeated the ABs. Then the feel-good brigade will start making some noise again. Boys, one word "2015" - you think you can be good enough?

        Date and time
        September 08, 2013, 2:07AM

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