Monday’s rugby news has the Wallabies disappointment, some injury call-ups, the team trying to look ahead and Retallick injured for the All Blacks.
Link disappointed with bench
Ewen McKenzie has criticized his bench for Saturday’s 28-10 loss to South Africa after the Wallabies let in three tries in the last 11 minutes. Australia was up by two points but the Springboks big-name bench, which included Schalk Burger and Bismarck du Plessis, completely outplayed their Wallaby counterparts in the dying stages.
McKenzie lamented the fact that his reserves- which included James Horwill, Ben Alexander, Kurtley Beale and Scott Higginbotham – didn’t have an impact nor maintain composure despite their experience.
Phipps looking ahead
Despite their capitulation in the loss to the Springboks, Wallabies halfback Nick Phipps has said that the team would not allow themselves to dwell on the result. “It’s pretty disappointing, the boys aren’t happy about it, but [Hooper] just said in front of the group that it’s important that we don’t walk around kicking stones,” he said.
The Wallabies were 54-17 victors in the last match against Argentia but are expecting a much tighter second round. The team will fly to Buenos Aires on Monday before training once and heading to Mendoza.
Wallabies sustain more injuries
Centre Matt Toomua (head knock) and number eight Ben McCalman (shoulder) will likely miss next weekend’s Test against Argentina, clearing a path for the inclusion of Kurtley Beale and Scott Higginbotham in the starting side. Toomua will undergo tests for concussion but was forced from the field with 26 minutes left on Sunday, while McCalman has already been sent home.
With Wycliff Palu (concussion) resting, Higginbotham will slot into number 8 with Queensland back-rower Jake Schatz joining the squad. Will Skelton will also join the Wallabies after Rob Simmons suffered a head knock.
Retallick injured for champs
The All Blacks have secured the Rugby Chamionship with a match remaining. The only injury concern to come out of the team’s comfortable 34-13 win against Argentina appears to be lock Brodie Retallick, who may miss the upcoming dead-rubber match against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Retallick left the field for a concussion test in the second half and didn’t return. The only other concern, prop Wyatt Crockett, will recover from a black eye well in time for the Springboks clash.