Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
The embattled Wallabies, bottom of the Castle Rugby Championship table after two rounds, may have erred by preferring Ewen McKenzie to South Africa’s Jake White as head coach.
So says New Zealand Herald columnist Chris Rattue in that paper on Monday, following the All Blacks’ second successive comfortable victory over Australia and early retention of the Bledisloe Cup.
The Wallabies face up next to the Springboks in Brisbane on September 7, the team White – now leading a significant Brumbies revival — inspired to World Cup glory in 2007.
“(McKenzie) already looks and sounds like a beaten man without a rescue plan,” Rattue wrote of Robbie Deans’ successor.
“The opening to his Wallaby reign is so unimpressive that it is already time to consider that they chose the wrong man in overlooking Jake White.
“He stalks the back of the coaching box impersonating a trader during a financial meltdown in his new role.
“He looks and sounds stressed, lacking the demeanour to put a confident air into his struggling team. And they are playing confused.”
Rattue also made reference to McKenzie’s criticism of SA referee Jaco Peyper after their 27-16 loss in Wellington on Saturday.
“His whingeing after another emphatic Bledisloe Cup win by the All Blacks constituted the usual one-eyed coach-speak that makes for regular newspaper copy.
“As always there are grains of truth there, but they are exaggerated in the name of obscuring the real problems.
“The hallmark of White-coached teams is simplicity, organisation and clear direction – factors missing from McKenzie’s recipe so far. White might have been the better choice.”
Source : Sport24