Rugby: Argentina perfect for Wallabies - McKenzie

By Jim Morton

Ewen McKenzie. Photo / Getty Images
Ewen McKenzie. Photo / Getty Images

Ewen McKenzie believes confrontational Argentina are the perfect opponents for his besieged Wallabies to face and prove their worth after four straight defeats.

The Wallabies are licking their wounds and "circling the wagons" after their 38-12 drubbing by South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, which has them last on the Rugby Championship table.

Argentina are also winless but have impressed in their last two losses against the Springboks and All Blacks and head to Perth confident of a tournament maiden victory.

McKenzie admitted the abrasive and highly physical Pumas presented another big challenge for his inexperienced forward pack.

"It's not an easy game at all," the coach said. "But it's the sort of game we need. We need a physical challenge to get ourselves right."

Missing captain James Horwill in the second row, as well as other enforcers, Australia have recalled powerhouse lock Sitaleki Timani and he could add grunt for the clash.

The Wallabies scrum has struggled to adapt to the new soft engagement laws and will face another tough assignment against the big Pumas pack.

McKenzie is reviewing his tactics after admitting he might need to simplify Australia's game plan because of an abundance of errors in trying to probe for holes in the Springbok and All Black defensive lines.

He's under pressure to deliver results as well as attractive rugby following Australia's record of just 22 tries in the last 21 tests.

"Everyone is going to be a bit iffy about us this week," McKenzie said.

"But I'm looking forward to the challenge of grabbing the rugby public back and showing that we're fair dinkum.

"I don't see this as insurmountable by any stretch. It's just a matter of getting the focus on the right things.

"Confidence is a big part of that. We'll circle the wagons and get on with the game next week."


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