'Not good enough': Brutal truth about Wallabies' historic victory

·Contributor
·3-min read
Jordan Petaia, pictured here after scoring a try for the Wallabies against Japan.
Jordan Petaia celebrates after scoring a try for the Wallabies against Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Many Wallabies fan were caught off-guard when they realised Saturday’s Test against Japan wasn’t on free-to-air and they were unable to watch.

They can consider themselves the lucky ones.

Those who did tune in on Stan were transferred back to a time where Australia was shooting itself in the foot so regularly they should have played in steel capped boots.

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Actually, just call it 2020.

But let’s first dip our lids to Dave Rennie’s men for chalking up five-consecutive wins for the first time since 2015.

And it would be remiss not to acknowledge Japan’s part in almost causing a major upset and beating the Wallabies for the first time.

Australia's 32-23 win in Oita - sealed in the final two minutes via a try to debutant Connal McInerney - was as scratchy as a cheap sweater.

It started off well enough, Quade Cooper's lovely inside ball easing Tom Wright through a gap and over for the first try on seven minutes.

But it was anything but comfortable from there.

The Brave Blossoms conceded another try midway through the half but by the break only trailed 14-10 as a clunky Australian side took a heap of wrong options and threw composure out the window.

Revved up by a stern half-time chat from coach Dave Rennie, the Wallabies started the second term looking a little but more like the team we saw at the back-end of the Rugby Championship.

But after clearing out to a 27-13 advantage on the back of two tries, old habits resurfaced.

The intercept returned, Cooper's wayward pass gifting Japan a try and a route back into the contest.

As predicted, the Brave Blossoms were playing an up-tempo game and Australia tried to go with them rather than stick to Rennie's blueprint.

The aimless kicking was also back as was a lack of patience, allowing the home side to grow in belief and cut the margin to four coming down the home straight.

Dave Rennie and Taniela Tupou, pictured here after the Wallabies' win over Japan.
Dave Rennie and Taniela Tupou look on after the Wallabies' win over Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

'Backward step' for Wallabies after Rugby Championship

Were we about to witness a famous victory? Japan has never beaten and Australia was doing it best to help the cause.

It took a try to McInerney from a rolling maul two minutes from the end to seal a deal that was a long way from convincing.

"The Wallabies have a dangerous habit of allowing their opponents to dictate the style of game," former Wallabies centre Tim Horan said.

"It happened against the All Blacks and it happened again against an enthusiastic and dangerous Brave Blossoms side."

Ex-All Blacks fly-half Andrew Mehrtens added: "Performance-wise it's been a backward step."

Rennie acknowledged the performance was "rusty" and lamented his team's lack of composure and execution at key moments.

He has promised an improvement as all eyes turn to the European leg of the tour and it will be needed.

A repeat dose of this performance won't be good enough to come away with wins over Scotland, England and Wales.

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