Former Wallabies full-back Greg Martin insists that Eddie Jones’ men have a chance this weekend, but only due to Wales’ own ineptitude.
The two-time world champions go into Sunday’s encounter with the Welsh knowing that only a win will do if they are to stand a chance of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
It’s fair to say that Martin was less than impressed with the team’s performance against the Pacific Islanders but retains hope that they can keep their World Cup dreams alive.
“We’re both about the same crap-ability, so we can win the game if we’re good enough, but jeez, we need to do some tackling, get better at the breakdown, kick less and give away fewer penalties,” he told The Platform.
“We’re at a low point in our cycle of players at the moment; we’re not very good, but it’s still conceivable that we can beat Wales.
“If we don’t beat Wales, we don’t play Portugal for another two weeks, so it would be a long two weeks for the Wallabies.”
Both Rugby Australia and head coach Jones are coming under increasing pressure following the loss to Fiji, with some questioning whether reappointing the 63-year-old was the correct decision.
He returned to the Wallabies hotseat in January after the governing body sacked Dave Rennie following a disappointing few years in charge.
However, there were signs of improvement during the 2022 end-of-year series, which culminated in a dramatic 39-34 come-from-behind victory over Wales.
That did not prevent Rennie from being axed, with the governing body believing that Jones could make an immediate impact.
The results have so far been disastrous, though, and that has led to plenty of criticism, including from Drew Mitchell.
The former Wallaby wing queried why the likes of Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper had been dropped for the global tournament.
Max Jorgensen injury
An injury to Max Jorgensen has opened a position for the head coach to bring someone in, and Martin joked: “Maybe Quade’s missed 20 calls from Eddie,” referencing Cooper’s refusal to answer the phone after Jones left him out of the World Cup squad.
The ex-Wallaby added: “Maybe he’s picking his phone up now, but we need a fly-half that can direct a game and has got a bit of experience and we need a goal-kicker. Quade fills both of those things, so perhaps it’s not a bad idea.
“I saw on his Instagram that he’s training hard, so maybe he does come over. (But) I think even if he came over, he can’t play against Wales, so kind of what’s the use?
“We’ve got problems with (Will) Skelton out, who’s our captain. (Taniela) Tupou’s out, our best front-rower, so we’re in a bit of strife, but we can still beat Wales.”