Wallaby Strategy a Thing of Beauty

For all the crazy conspriacy theorists out there (like this blog) the reality is that the Wallabies plight is their own doing - and they're doing it brilliantly.

Like a modern-day rope-a-dope, the Wallabies are playing a long game, lulling their prime opponents into a false sense of security, priming them for a thwacking. Losing to Ireland may have been viewed as a disaster at the time, but while Robbie Deans may have appeared downcast, inside he was conniving and thriving - the Wallabies were now in a better head space and a better place in the draw.

The Northern Hemisphere nations may be technically not as accomplished as their Southern hemisphere counterparts, but the reality is that for the Wallabies they are a lesser known threat. 'Better the devil you know' has never been more apt.

The Springboks are the Wallabies bunnies, having lost 4 of their last 5 matches against them, while the All Blacks have also lost 2 of their last 3 against the Wallabies. It's also a historical fact that the Wallabies struggle to win matches they are expected to win and tend to recover from shocking losses with thumping wins.

Maybe it's a Gen Y thing, or maybe they're just stupid, but the Wallabies short term memory isn't much better than a goldfish's and once Robbie Deans came to terms with it he realised it was actually something he could use to his advantage. While it may be a bit of a stretch to say he planned the loss to Ireland you can bet he was pumping up the team's ego (not hard to do admittedly) prior to kick-off in the knowledge that over-estimating the opposition may have some long term advantages.

So the message to Walllabies supporters is don't lose the faith just yet. Forget injuries to key personnel, Robbie Deans chose young players because they heal more easily, are easier to build up and down, are predictably unpredicatable and have plenty to learn. The weight of age and the dullness of experience will tell against the Springboks who will be outenthused (it's a new word and you heard it here first) and underwhelmed, while the All Blacks have been there and choked on that.

Come the final the Wallabies will face off against a little known enemy brimming with confidence having been undefeated to that point during the World Cup and thus ripe for the picking and with little knowledge of how to counter Southern Hemisphere flair and pizzazz, but a flair tempered and tamed by the knowledge that it must be used wisely.

The Wallabies - not incompetent, just timing their run.