Wallabies prop Benn Robinson believes Australia are going through their poorest season since the dawn of his Test career.
Wallabies prop Benn Robinson believes Australia are going through their poorest season since the dawn of his international career.
With over 60 Test matches over seven years to his name, Robinson is well-placed to judge Australian fortunes.
Having missed what quickly became a horror-show year in 2005 for Australia, resulting in a 38.46 percent win rate, the prop says his country's string of losses is the longest he has suffered in a gold jersey.
“I don't think I have to be honest. I couldn't tell you the exact stats but I know the run of losses so far is probably the longest I have had, at least in [one] year,” Robinson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
And the veteran, in keeping with the general consensus of many of his team-mates, struggled to put his finger on the reason for the Wallaby woes.
“It's a difficult question to answer because you look at aspects of the game where we can improve or where we've let teams come in, there's a combination of plenty of small things that, if you lift in [that] area, could make a big difference,” added Robinson.
“But I hate saying 'we're just on the edge there' or 'we're just about to break through'. Having these losses is disappointing.”
The pain of the Wallabies poor form has been compounded for Robinson by his frustrating time spent on the fringes of the squad. For a player who started all but one of the 17 test-matches under Robbie Deans prior to the Rugby Championship, it has been difficult to adjust.
“To be honest it's been tough. Coming on for half an hour at the end is something that I'm unfamiliar with,” revealed Robinson.
“I've played most of my games in the starting position so I'm still learning to play that role. It's a different balance there, you definitely want to come out and lift up the tempo of the game but you don't want to overplay your hand and try to do too much. I'm still learning to put my best foot forward and offer the team as much as I can when I get on there.”
Having lost out on selection at loosehead to James Slipper in spite of his relative scrummaging prowess, Robinson knows he must improve on his work in the loose to match his rival, and conform to the style of rugby favoured by coach Ewen McKenzie.
“The game of rugby he plays, he wants players working all the time. And at this level you can't be passive, or sitting on your heels waiting for something to happen. That's the style of game Ewen wants,” acknowledged Robinson.
“He knows me from the Waratahs and I had different strengths back then to what some people perceive now. He knows what I can offer there and when I get out there I try to do as much as possible.”