As they were expected to do, the Wallabies thrashed Los Teros 11 tries to zip. In doing so they racked up the biggest win the 2015 Rugby World Cup so far and leapt to the top of the pool of death, ahead of Wales on points difference.
However, the performance was far from the tight, professional one we saw from the Wallaby A team against Fiji. It was a festival of balls dropped, passes pushed and penalties given away – the Wallabies turned the ball over 20 times against the 19th ranked team in the World. In a match that was surely the last chance for the dirt trackers to put their hands up, many may have played themselves out of contention.
One bright spot was Sean McMahon who once again showed his unusual power in the tackle from the very kick off and bagged two meaties himself. Is there a world in which he could partner the Pooper in the same back row?
Incidents of note
- Top of the list has to be Quade Cooper’s yellow card (see video below). It was soft and really should have only been a penalty, but that’s three yellow cards in four tests for Cooper. He also kicked just five from eleven conversions, many in very gettable positions – a stark contrast to the England v Wales kicking display. Quade also displayed some of his immense ball playing talent through some lovely passing. Can he start for the Wallabies?
- Scrum watch: the Wallabies won three tight heads and largely dominated, but it was pretty messy at times and they even copped a penalty or two
- Drew Mitchell started the match with a few errors but went on to score two good tries, make the most metres of any Wallaby, with 144 metres for the game along with four line breaks and a match-high 10 carries over the gain-line. Hand raised.
AUSTRALIA 65 (Drew Mitchell 2, Ben McCalman 2, Sean McMahon 2, Joseph Tomane, Dean Mumm, Henry Speight, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani tries; Quade Cooper 5 conversions)
bt URUGUAY 3 (Felipe Berschesi penalty) at Villa Park, Birmingham. Referee: Pascal Gauzere.
Half time 31- 3