McKenzie searches for positives

Date published: September 14 2013

The Wallabies insisted on looking at the positives after recording a 14-13 victory over Argentina in their Test in Perth on Saturday.

Australia insisted on looking at the positives after clinging on to snap a four-Test losing streak with a 14-13 victory over Argentina in their Rugby Championship Test at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.

In wet and windy conditions that made handling difficult, the Wallabies led 14-3 at half-time, but failed to score after the break and were lucky the Pumas were unable to capitalise on some late errors by the home team.

Although the unimpressive win didn't answer too many questions about their form, it was the Wallabies' first victory under new coach Ewen McKenzie in his fourth match at the helm.

Despite the tenuous margin, McKenzie noted that Argentina was an improving side and said it was a character and confidence-building win.

“There were some really good moments of character there, we had to defend our line in the second half from a series of scrums,” he said.

“They are the moments that ultimately start to define the team and the character of the people and how they work together.

“Some of it is starting to poke its nose through in terms of improvement.”

Captain Ben Mowen echoed McKenzie's sentiment and said it was important just to get a win on the board.

“It just feels great to win,” he said.

“The guys close to the team know how much it means, we know the rugby public haven't been happy with the results we have given so far but we are as invested in the team as anyone.

“To get a result like that tonight on the back of some crucial moments through the game, was outstanding.

“It is going to propel the side forward.”

Argentina threatened to snatch the match when they scored the only try of the second half.

The Pumas had a final chance to attack in the last minute, but were penalised for not throwing in straight at the line-out.

Argentina coach Santiago Phelan lamented his team's tardy first half and inability to score when they spent the first 10 minutes of the second half camped on Australia's tryline.

“We are disappointed with the result,” he said.

“We didn't play well in the first half, but it was a good reaction in the second half.

“We did well in the scrum, but we needed to get more benefit.”

McKenzie hopes this win will be a launching pad to more victories on their two-game trip to South Africa and Argentina.

“No one will back us to win those games, but now we've got a bit of confidence,” McKenzie said.

“Confidence is a dangerous thing, so we can work with it.

“You need the win to validate what you've been doing.

“It's not exactly how we want to do it, but we couldn't control how the weather was going to be.

“We haven't abandoned how we want to play.

“We haven't changed anything philosophically.

“I think the thing that might be lost is that Australia haven't got a great reputation of winning games in the wet.”