Wallabies not conning anyone after latest rugby disaster

Wallabies players Rob Valenti and Len Ikitau are pictured side by side, looking dejected after the loss to Argentina.
The Wallabies were picked apart in devastating fashion by Argentina, setting off warning bells ahead of the Rugby World Cup next year. Pictures: Getty Images

Surely, no-one is still falling for the line that Australian rugby is headed in the sort of direction that would indicate a bold showing at next year's World Cup.

On the evidence of the garbage dished up in San Juan on Sunday morning (AEST), the Wallabies will be wasting their – and everyone else's - time in France in a little over 12 months' time.

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Argentina dominated from opening whistle to last, compiling a record-breaking 48-17 win to condemn the Wallabies to one of their worst overseas defeats.

Yes, the Australians were down on troops and are badly missed Michael Hooper's leadership and drive, but this was an insipid performance as you'll see.

Los Pumas were good but you shudder to think what a New Zealand, South Africa or Ireland would have done to the men in gold.

Actually, any of the top tier and many second-tier rugby nations would have had Australia's measure on a forgettable day for rugby in this country.

Australia trailed 26-10 at the break but it was probably the last few minutes that was the most telling.

We won't say they gave up but it wasn’t far off as the Wallabies conceded two tries just because Argentina wanted it more.

It made for depressing viewing.

Wallabies demolished by Argentina in brutal reality check

For once, coach Dave Rennie didn’t try to sugar-coat the performance.

"It’s a massive disappointment. We want to earn the respect of the country and you don’t do it with performances like that," he said.

"We had a good enough side on the paddock tonight to do the job. We’ve got to be better.

"We would (like to have the same team each game) but we had a good enough side to do the job.

"While we know we'll get a few guys back, whoever puts the jersey on has to front. We weren’t good enough."

The undermanned Wallabies were blown off the park by Argentina, going down 48-17. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)
The undermanned Wallabies were blown off the park by Argentina, going down 48-17. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)

Australian rugby fans are seeing right through this team and will no longer be conned by the intermittent flashes of brilliance and the occasional big scalp.

Seven losses in the Wallabies' last eight games is a damning statistic and Rennie's win-loss record is receding faster than his hairline.

There are huge gaps in depth in key positions and a worrying reliance on players who are well past their use-by date but are called on out of necessity.

Just don't expect dramatic change anytime soon.

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