By Lee Stace
The end could be nigh for Wallabies coach Robbie Deans after his side’s loss to Scotland.
QUESTION: IS Robbie Deans’ future as Wallabies coach now untenable?
Answer: not quite, but the soft soil he already bears weight upon has now become slightly shakier.
The Wallabies have become the subject of international ridicule after being upset by the unfancied Scotland in Newcastle. People are pointing, laughing and making fun after the world’s second best team (well, that’s according to the IRB rankings) went down to a side that is 10 places back in the queue.
This reverse represents yet another slip-up since Deans signed the tenancy papers for his job in 2008.
The tale of the tape speaks for itself. In 2009, Scotland beat the Wallabies 9-8 in a rather drab contest at Murrayfield, while last year, Samoa shook the rugby foundations when it produced a stunning 32-23 upset in Sydney.
However, the most recent loss to Scotland is the worst of the lot.
As was the case in Edinburgh three years earlier, the Wallabies had enough possession and territory this time around to stitch together the seams of victory.
What’s more, this was a Scotland side which was coming off a disappointing, winless Six Nations campaign in which the only notable thing it collected while passing the finish line was the wooden spoon.
Deans’ loyal supporters and other Wallaby sympathisers will talk about how the side had limited time to prepare. Some may even blame the wet weather.
Quite frankly, those arguments don’t wash. The Wallabies second-string line-up still had enough talent and experience in the form of stand-in captain David Pocock, hooker Stephen Moore, halfback Will Genia, flyhalf Berrick Barnes and wing Digby Ioane to put the under-strength tourists to the sword.
The fact they failed to do so is simply not good enough.
So what does Australia’s recent faux pas on the international stage mean for Deans ahead of the three-test series against Wales?
It puts even greater pressure on the transplanted New Zealander to perform and now gives his growing list of detractors even more ammo to fire when they debate his merits as a coach.
Deans’ record with the Wallabies has hardly been flash. In fact, if truth be told, the bad performances have outweighed the good ones in his five years at the helm. Silly results have become a ritualistic custom, it seems.
Now Australia gets set to face a Wales outfit which is twice the side Scotland is.
Deans’ job appears safe for now. It is simply too disruptive to replace him with Ewen McKenzie just days before the first Welsh test in Brisbane.
But if he loses the series against the Six Nations champion, then you can guarantee the soil he currently stands on will fast transform into quicksand.
We at rugbynews.co.nz and NZ Rugby News Ltd like to keep our readers up to date with the latest news, offers from our sites and information from our partners. We are committed to protecting your privacy and will not pass your details on to any company outside of our network.
We at NZ Rugby News Ltd invite our readers (you) to post comments on the blogs on our website. Please read our terms and conditions below.
Please note the views which are expressed in the comment areas are not our views, nor the views of any of our staff. We accept no liability in respect to any material posted in the comments areas and are not responsible for the content and accuracy of that material.
If you place reliance on material posted in the comments area, you do so at your own risk, and you indemnify us from any liabilities, claims, costs, loss (including consequential loss) or damage suffered or caused by doing so.
If you comment on our blogs, the following terms and conditions apply.
We retain the right (but not the obligation) to edit, delete, reject or remove any comment which you post or want to post in our blog areas.
You grant us non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide licence to republish any material you submit to us, without limitation, in any format.
We retain the right to terminate your ability to comment on our blogs if we believe you are abusing the service in any way, or have breached these terms and conditions.
You consent to our collecting and storing your email and IP address for security purposes and you will also receive a complementary subscription to RugbyEnews.
You will not be able to post the following comments on our blogs:
(a) Anything which is not an original work or infringes upon the copyright, registered trademark or intellectual property rights of another person;
(b) Anything which is or could be deemed to be obscene, offensive, pornographic, vulgar, profane, indecent or otherwise illegal;
(c) Anything which is defamatory towards a person, company or organisation.
(d) Anything which racially or religiously vilifies, incites violence or hatred, or is likely to offend, insult or humiliate others based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or any physical or mental disability;
(e) Anything which you know or suspect is false, misleading or deceptive.
(f) Anything which advertises or promotes goods, services and products in a commercial manner; or
(g) Anything which provides financial advice or advice of any kind to any financial product.
You agree to fully indemnify and hold us harmless against any liabilities, claims, costs, loss (including consequential loss) or damage incurred as a result of any comments you post in our blog area, or as a result of any breach by you of these terms and conditions.
Notwithstanding any indemnity provided by you under these terms and conditions, we retain the right to assume the conduct of any defence to a claim brought against us and of any proceedings or appeal issued by us, and you agree to provide all reasonable cooperation (including making relevant documents available) that we may require from you in relation to any such claim, proceeding or appeal.
These terms and conditions shall be construed and applied in accordance with the laws of New Zealand, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts to determine any matter or dispute which arises under these terms and conditions in accordance with the laws of New Zealand.
All the fixtures you need to plan your viewing pleasure!
Not all our own way for NZ teams
Pressure is on Benji, but shouldn't we remember SBW went to France (Toulon) for 2 years to learn the game.
With all of the news around concussion do you think there should be safety measures in place for players to ensure they don't play on after a head know? How and who should police that?
With the start of club rugby upon us, how can we maintain the value of the clubs in player pathways and community spirit.