OPINION: How Dave Rennie avoided another Wallabies 'con job'

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has turned the Wallabies into a respectable international rugby team after taking on the job in 2019. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has turned the Wallabies into a respectable international rugby team after taking on the job in 2019. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Australian rugby fans know a con when they see one.

For years we've been told to stay patient, put our faith in (insert coach of the time), back the current crop of players and blindly believe the good times were soon to return.

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The words have proved hollow for the best part of two decades, with brief flashes of success quickly followed by sharp decline.

Current boss Dave Rennie has deliberately steered clear of delivering empty promises since taking the top job, mindful actions speak louder than words.

He hasn't attempted to sugar-coat his side's shortcomings while, for anyone listening carefully, politely pointing out areas of progress.

He could see positives where many others couldn't.

Following the Wallabies' 30-17 disposal of South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday night, Rennie is within his rights to give us a little "I told you so".

After all, it's not often you beat the world champions twice in a week.

And while the first encounter – an after-the-bell 28-26 win – involved a few slabs of good luck, this latest victory was a real green and gold flex.

The Wallabies were clinging to an 18-17 lead just after the hour mark, the game there for the winning as 40,000 fans screamed their support.

The Springboks, with brilliant No.9 Faf de Klerk at his scheming best, had the momentum and were threatening to suck the life from the home side.

But the resilience Australia built during the France series, only to be blown away by the All Blacks, again showed up.

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Outstanding front-rower Taniela Tupou produced an audacious no-look flick pass for Marika Koroibete to streak down the left touchline untouched to score.

A turnover procured by the always busy Reece Hodge resulted in another sensational Koroibete try on 68 minutes, the smiling winger affording the crowd a thumbs up after putting the Wallabies 13 points to the good.

But could Australia, having played such a frenetic up-tempo game, now hold on for the last 10 minutes?

Even the All Blacks, readying themselves for the follow-up game against Argentina, filed into the players' tunnel to see for themselves.

Rennie has long talked about his side's superior fitness and it was there for all to see as the Wallabies repelled South Africa's desperate late attempts to pull the game from the fire.

The Wallabies will look to make it three wins in a row over South Africa when they face off once again next weekend. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
The Wallabies will look to make it three wins in a row over South Africa when they face off once again next weekend. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The defensive resolve was something to behold as the gold wall stood firm, delivering Michael Hooper's team a much deserved win in the skipper's record-breaking 60th Test in charge.

Eighty-per-cent of fans, reacting to an online poll asking whether this was the best win of Rennie's reign, voted yes.

"We want to get the country behind us and you've got to give them performances to make them proud of and hopefully we've made a start on that," Rennie said.

"It certainly gives us belief. We’ve always felt the game we’re trying to play is the right type of game for our group. It's great to get a couple of results."

The Nelson Mandela Plate has pride of place in Australia's barren trophy cabinet and the Wallabies are now up to third in the world rankings.

If it's a con job, it’s a bloody good one.

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