Monday, July 18, 2011
The Wallabies suffered a shock upset at the hands of Samoa on Sunday in Sydney, as over confidence and a lack of depth were exposed with the Australians worst loss in almost forty years. Samoa led early, and won the game 32-23 in the end.
The hosts had gone into the game on a high from the Super Rugby success of the Reds, but with very few of those players in the starting lineup, others were given a chance to put the poor form of their Super Rugby campaigns behind them, and stick their hands up for future selection.
They failed to do that, in dramatic style, as the Samoans came out firing with massive tackles, composed defence, and an opportunism which saw them up by 17 points in the first half.
Next week a different Wallabies team will turn out against South Africa - themselves weakened, and criticised for it - in the Tri Nations opener. Robbie Deans has said that this game was a wake up call, but he had no option but to rest most of the Reds players, who joined the camp late.
For the Samoans, it was without a doubt their greatest ever victory as they sent a warning to the other sides in their Rugby World Cup group. While the majority of their players play abroad, the experience they've gained in places like New Zealand and the UK has combined well with their natural talent and physicality, making them a tricky prospect come the RWC group stages.
Former Wallaby Tim Horan said that he hopes the result stings the Wallabies.
"It would be easy to say Samoa's stunning upset victory was helped by the fact some of Australia's frontline players were not selected, but that would be letting the hosts off lightly," he said.
"They were embarrassed. They can't pass this result off. They were outplayed by a team that out-planned them, out-muscled them in defence and out-enthused them at the breakdown."