Aussie media slams Wallabies 'nosedive' (+ video)

By NZ Herald staff

The Wallabies shock loss to Samoa is 'the wake-up call Australia needs'. Photo / Getty Images
The Wallabies shock loss to Samoa is 'the wake-up call Australia needs'. Photo / Getty Images

Australia's leading newspapers haven't let the Wallabies off lightly after they suffered a shock loss to Samoa on Sunday.

The Australian summed up the game with the headline "Samoa's dream is Wallabies' nightmare".

"Robbie Deans described it as an awakening, perhaps because the Wallabies had just experienced the nightmare scenario of recording one of the biggest upset losses in Australian rugby history," Bret Harris wrote.

"Not since the Wallabies were stunned by Tonga in 1973 have they dropped a game to a so-called second-tier nation. Now in the first game of the World Cup year, with only four Tri-Nations Tests before the Cup in New Zealand the Wallabies have been humbled again on their own soil."

The Sydney Morning Herald's Peter Fitzsimons said the "Pacific islanders' golden moment is the wake-up call Australia needs"

"In terms of stunning upsets in sport, the 32-23 victory of the Samoan Test side over the Wallabies at the Olympic Stadium yesterday was absolutely stunning," Fitzsimons wrote.

"Yes, the Wallabies did not have their strongest team on the field, with coach Robbie Deans preferring to rest some key men for the Tri Nations tournament.

"But the real news is not merely that the Wallabies played badly. The wonderful part is that Samoa, after threatening for many years to become a force in world rugby, have arrived."

Former Wallaby Tim Horan writing for the Daily Telegraph said Australia were outplayed, outplanned, out-muscled and out-enthused.

"The Wallabies can't pass this result off. They were outplayed by a team that outplanned them, out-muscled them in defence and out-enthused them at the breakdown. If there was complacency in the Australian camp, it is surely gone now," he wrote.

"On the strength of this result, it's fair to say that three or four Wallabies played their way out of the World Cup squad.

"Robbie Deans will be shattered by this result, and the Wallabies can expect a few home truths to be delivered at training this week. Rocky Elsom also needs to be involved. This week looms as a great opportunity for him to assert his leadership, as the Australians attempt to turn the embarrassment of defeat into a motivational springboard for the World Cup."

Greg Growden of the Sydney Morning Herald said it isn't Australia's worst defeat, that going to their 1973 loss to Tonga or their 2009 defeat to Scotland, because they weren't fronting their best XV.

"Nonetheless yesterday's shambolic 32-23 loss is right up there in the Australian Rugby embarrassment stakes, and numerous identities - both on and off the field - deserve a good kick up the backside for allowing this to happen, because it was clear too many took this game for granted," Growden wrote.

"What was also obvious were the enormous traps that a team can stumble into when the best starting XV is not selected. What occurred at ANZ Stadium showed that Australian Rugby's depth is not as impressive as many had assumed. Several youngsters, and also some brought back from left field, were shown to be off the pace - some test careers came to a skidding halt.

Growden pointed out it's a big fall for Australian rugby after Queensland captured the Super 15 title just eight days earlier.

"Just a week ago, Australian Rugby was on an enormous high following the Queensland Reds winning the Super Rugby final," he wrote.

"Now those supposed stars have discovered they are the headline actors in the latest Hollywood sequel - The Hangover Part III - after allowing Samoa to enjoy a victory that they will rank as important as their defeated of Wales in Cardiff during the 1991 World Cup."

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