Cougars play Wallabies quietly


Wallaby coach Eddie Jones has very little hair left, but if his team continues to dry he will soon be completely bald.

The Wallabies, who were beaten 43-12 by the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld last week, were beaten 34-31 by the Argentine Pumas in Sydney on Saturday.

Yes, the Cougars who don’t even play in the Super Rugby series anymore and have to rely on handouts.

Jones’ head games boomeranged against the Boks and he was quiet before the Cougars test this week, because he came up against the fiery Michael Cheika, a former Wallaby coach.

The Wallabies are now last in the standings and the wooden spoon awaits, because the Aussies still have to finish against the All Blacks.

Jones struggles to get to grips with his team selections, because against the Cougars he fielded his two heavyweight locks, Will Skelton and Richie Arnold, together.

This severely curtailed his lineout choices, as neither Skelton nor Arnold were included for their jumping ability.

In addition, Arnold received a yellow card and it was one of 14 penalty kicks conceded by the Wallabies.

Then veteran Quade Cooper isn’t the answer at fly-half, but who else is there: Bernard Foley or James O’Connor?

Jones’ gamble, to choose six forwards and only two backs on the bench like Rassie Erasmus, also backfired, because the Wallabies’ inside center Len Ikitau dislocated his shoulder early on.

The substitute flyhalf Carter Gordon, who is a rookie in test rugby, went to play inside centre.

The Boks get away with it, because players like Damian Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe and Cobus Reinach (and in the past also Frans Steyn) can play at full-back, wing, centre, fly-half and scrum-half.

The Wallabies could have won so easily and were in front shortly before the end, but they could not finish properly.

At one stage, Jones jumped up in the coaches’ box, took off his headphones and hit the table hard with his fist. Has anyone seen Jones this angry?

On the Pumas’ side, Emiliano Boffelli, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Mateo Carreras, Julian Montoya and Pablo Matera were red hot.

Scorers: Argentina 34 (10): Tries: Jeronimo de la Fuente, Julian Montoya, Mateo Carreras, Juan Martin Gonzalez. Goals: Emiliano Boffelli (4). Penalty goals: Boffelli (2).

Australia 31 (10): Tries: Len Ikitau, Nic White, Samu Kerevi, Mark Nawaqanitawase. Goals: Quade Cooper (4). Penalty: Cooper.