Keo.co.za brings you the latest from the Wallabies’ end-of-year tour to Europe.
Barnes calls for patience - The key to attacking potency is choosing your moments carefully, says Berrick Barnes.
The Wallabies butchered a number of scoring opportunities against Italy on Saturday and despite the 32-14 scoreline, the performance was utterly unconvincing.
‘It was hard playing against Italy because there were a few holes out there,’ Barnes said. ‘When you play sides like the All Blacks, you don’t get too many of them and so you jump at every chance you get.
‘Execution does kill you. Our shapes are opening sides up and, it is great that our attack is doing that. It is now on us to try and be a lot more patient at times.’
Eales goes easy on stuttering Wallabies - John Eales wasn’t pleased with the standard of Australia’s performance against Italy, but credited the Azzuri for being tough to beat.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald the former Wallabies captain said: ‘It would be easy to bag the Wallabies on this performance but as seen with the Scots victory over the Springboks, one has to be careful not to undermine the capacity of the northern hemisphere sides. Although the Azzurri have few big-game pelts in their cabin, most teams struggle to “win pretty” against them and this was no exception.
‘The Italians don’t play rugby as they live. In fact, their rugby isn’t even typically as flamboyant as their politicians. But I suppose when you boast the likes of Ilona Staller aka la Cicciolina, the porno star-cum parliamentarian, and the irrepressible Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose is?
‘Coached now, however, by former Springbok Nick Mallet, their consistency, even if not yet their reliability, is growing. Perhaps their greatest detriment is they remain more reactive than proactive and while stuck in this habit, this trend will continue to stunt their growth.’
Eales also warned that Quade Cooper would face a sterner test against France on Saturday than he did in Florence. ‘Due to his position Cooper will always command a disproportionate amount of attention on his performance,’ he wrote.
‘When oppositions study videos of the Wallabies, they will do so with a bubble on Cooper to determine how to isolate his unreliable defence and how to protect themselves against his, at times, devastating attack. Better teams than the Italians will then exploit this intelligence to real effect.’
Read the full column here