The Australian media has blasted the Wallabies after their embarrassing loss to welsh side Ospreys.
An Australia “A” side, comprised largely of players with Test experience, lost 24-16 to Ospreys who were without two-thirds of their first-choice lineup, and have subsequently been on the receiving end of scathing criticism from Down Under.
“If World Cups are won by the squads with the greatest depth, then the Wallabies are in deep trouble,” The Australian newspaper’s chief rugby writer Wayne Smith wrote.
“Any number of lessons were learned…all painful and humiliating, but the one that most caused Australians to flinch was the brutal realisation that a huge chasm exists between the Wallabies and the Wannabes.”
The Wallabies selected a 37-man squad for their seven-match end-of-year tour in an attempt to establish some depth ahead of the World Cup in France, but Greg Growden of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote that on the evidence of the game, they were far from achieving their goals.
“This perplexing moment emphasised that Australian rugby has a soft underbelly. Its depth in talent is not as impressive as some would make out,” he wrote.
“Even with four provincial teams, Australia lack proper back-up in too many positions. The backline performed as if blindfolded, and the mistakes made all over the field were something one would expect from a pub team who play for the prawns and beer afterwards.”
Peter Jenkins of the Daily Telegraph made the choir of critics sing louder and called for the Australian Rugby Union to embark on a recruiting expedition to rugby league.
“The Wallabies losing to Ospreys is embarrassment on a grand scale and exposes as a myth the notion Australian rugby boasts a deep well of emerging backline talent,” Jenkins wrote.
“They should have been roadkill. Yet the Wallabies’ midweek side – the second-best team this country can muster – were brought to their knees.
“The ARU has run out of time to recruit for this World Cup but they must start hunting now for the future.”
The Wallabies play Wales at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow, in a match in which they hope their overhauled backline will fire against the Grand Slam winners.