The Wallabies will look to bounce back from their demoralising loss to France. Image courtesy of Getty Images
Robbie Deans and the Wallabies may have earned a brief reprieve from the never-ending stream of negativity thrown their way after beating the Pumas in Argentina and holding on to draw with the all-conquering All Blacks in Brisbane, but the avalanche of criticism has kicked off again after their 33-6 mauling by France in Paris last weekend.
Deans has now coached Australia in more Tests than anyone else, but he also has the lowest winning percentage of the professional era (57 per cent). Nudging that figure up won’t be easy this weekend, as the Wallabies take on a rejuvenated England team that must be whetting its lips at how easily Les Blues dismantled the green and gold scrum on several occasions. Flanker David Pocock will miss yet another match due to his calf injury, while lock Kane Douglas has been ruled out with a knee complaint.
The men with the red rose on their chest have often described Australia’s scrum in the past as ‘powder-puff’, and there is no doubt it will undergo a thorough examination at Twickenham on Sunday morning (AEDT). As if descriptions about the Wallabies’ forward pack aren’t bad enough, they’ve now been labelled the ‘Dullabies’ and ‘Wobblies’ by media across the globe. The monikers are probably fair enough, given the team has gone try-less in its last 175 minutes of rugby, and failed to cross the whitewash in four matches this year; the chances of an Australian try being the first score of the game seem low.
England has won the past two Tests against Australia and five of the last eight at Twickenham. Despite the home side having a reputation for playing forward-oriented rugby, the last three Tests have seen 53 , 41 , and 44 total points scored for the match. They opened their autumn international campaign with a seven-try, 54-12 demolition of Fiji last weekend. Aside from the first three matches of the Six Nations, the team has shown a more positive attitude under new coach Stuart Lancaster.
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