Advanced laser hair clinics all around the country should have received a massive boost in customers after the Australian rugby union quarter final against South Africa last night, as fans everywhere tore clumps of hair out in anguish over the Wallabies’ woeful attacking performance.
But despite the atrocious effort in attack – which can largely be attributed to Quade Cooper’s dismal decision making and rotten night with the boot – somehow the Wallabies overcame the Springboks to advance to the semi-finals, 11-9.
Whether you believe it or not, this actually says a lot about the Wallabies chances. In the 80 minutes of rugby played last night, the Wallabies conceded only nine points, three of which came from a drop goal. Given the stats that the Springboks had a 76 per cent territory advantage, it’s amazing that the Wallabies could have kept the South Africans to single digits.
But as we’ve so often seen at previous World Cups, the path to victory is based largely on defence. For the duration of the Wallabies quarter final effort, they held on to that hope, and defended with gusto, making roughly three times as many tackles as their opponents during the match.
But for all the celebrations from their quarter final victory, it’s imperative the Wallabies don’t become complacent. Like it or hate it, the semi against New Zealand will be a different match altogether. Where the Australians managed to hold out the powerful Springboks, next week they’ll be facing the formidable attacking force of the All Blacks.
One thing we’ve learnt in the past few years of Tri-Nations rugby is that the New Zealand side is extremely tough to beat at home. The crowd for the semi-final will be baying for Australian blood, and it’s going to take more than an impressive defensive effort to win. Quade Cooper will need to exorcise his demons and play well for the Wallabies to have any chance at victory.
But the good news is that if he does – if he steps up and plays the game as well as we all know he can, then the Wallabies have shown they have what it takes to walk away with Bill for the third time…