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HomeSportsWhy Dave Rennie isn't to blame for Australia's poor results

Why Dave Rennie isn’t to blame for Australia’s poor results

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As Mario Balotelli’s saying goes, a postman doesn’t celebrate when he delivers the post. That’s their job, that’s what they’re expected to do, and anything less is a problem.

If someone doesn’t receive their parcel in three to five business days, then that very same postman will begin to drown in a sea of complaints and scrutiny.

Expectation and performance define everyone in the workforce; praise can at times be rare or hard to come by, while criticism becomes louder and louder with any failures.

International rugby is no different.

In fact, the unforgiving nature of professional sport rarely allows for any external noise or reasoning. Rugby is a results-driven game; there’s no time for excuses or finger pointing.

It only feels like yesterday that the Autumn Nations Series drew to an intriguing conclusion as Dave Rennie’s Wallabies staged an incredible comeback win over Wales, and South Africa dominated England.

In the three and a half weeks since these international blockbusters, both the Welsh Rugby Union and RFU made stunning coaching decisions nine months out from the Rugby World Cup.

Legendary coach Warren Gatland was confirmed as Wayne Pivac’s replacement at Wales, following their disastrous season which included a loss against minnows Georgia in Cardiff.

But the RFU made the jaw-dropping announcement to axe World Cup specialist Eddie Jones about a day later, following England’s abysmal campaign which saw them win just five matches in 2022.

While Pivac simply seemed lost, Jones couldn’t prove his innocence no matter how much he tried.

It’s a results-driven game, rugby.

Under fire coach Rennie and the All Blacks’ Ian Foster weren’t dealt the same fate as their Northern Hemisphere counterparts, but the pressure is still on them both.

Wallabies coach Rennie, who has won less than 40 per cent of his Tests with Australia, is reportedly “looking at potential options elsewhere” for after next year’s World Cup.

Free agent Jones is expected to return to Australian shores in some capacity, and following a shocking campaign, Rugby Australia may be intrigued by the radical shakeup.

Australia started their season with a thrilling win over rivals England in Perth, before losing six of their next eight Test matches.

Their end-of-season tour to Europe wasn’t much better.

The Wallabies probably should’ve lost to Scotland at Murrayfield, before losing their next three matches by three points or less – including a first-ever loss to Italy.

While an incredible comeback win over Wales saw the men in gold avoid their worst season since 1958, change is needed.

But not the change that some may think.

Dave Rennie could potentially become the best thing to happen to Australian rugby in 20 years, and could rightly be hailed as a hero if things can fall the Wallabies’ way next year.

The Wallabies had an awful year on paper, but two major factors plagued their season – and it wasn’t Rennie’s influence.

Discipline was an obvious concern for the men in gold throughout their entire season, as they became the most penalised Tier One nation in the world.

Their poor discipline cost them in some key games, including a thriller against the All Blacks in Melbourne, which would’ve alleviated some pressure on both Rennie and the playing group if they had gotten it right.

While the coach does need to take some ownership for these issues, so do the playing group.

The Wallabies are the best of the best in Australia; they’re professional rugby players who have devoted their lives to the sport they love.

They know what they’re doing out there on the field, so the onus has to be on them to change their ways.

It doesn’t make winning any easier if they don’t.

International rugby is hard enough – it’s never been this competitive – but the sport becomes that much tougher when you’re having to select third-string options in several positions.

Throughout the year that was, it became impossible for an injury-ravaged Australian side to select their best players, and to develop any momentum in terms of selections ahead of the World Cup.

Credit: sportingnews.com

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