Morgan Turinui believes the Wallabies are copping the wrong end of 50-50 refereeing decisions because of their growing reputation as an ill-disciplined team.
Former Wallaby Turinui pointed out that Dave Rennie’s side were the most penalized tier one team in world rugby this year, conceding an average of 13.6 per game and more than one card per game.
“And they’re also the most penalized team with the ball in hand,” Turinui said on Stan Sport’s Between Two Posts.
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“So it’s not just about going too hard at the ball and high tackles. It is systemic, right throughout the Wallabies’ play now. The way they’re trying to play the game, trying to win collisions, their discipline, their accuracy of skill execution is not up to standard for a Test team.”
After the historic loss to Italy, Australia now face the most daunting assignment in the current game, taking on world No.1 Ireland in Dublin on Sunday (AEDT).
The Wallabies have slumped to eighth in the world rankings and are 1-2 on their spring tour of Europe.
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Remarkably, all three games have been decided by a single point.
“That’s (poor discipline) why the Wallabies leave themselves at the mercy of these sorts of games and are coming off on the wrong side,” Turinui said.
“Don’t forget Taniela Tupou makes a pretty poor error in going hard at the ball against Scotland defensively, with hands on the ground, gives away a penalty that everyone thought was going to cost them again. They could be 0-3.”
Sean Maloney and Morgan Turinui are back for the Autumn Nations Series as they try to digest the Wallabies defeat to Italy, review all the other international clashes over the weekend and look back on an epic RWC final from Eden Park
New Zealand whistleblower Ben O’Keeffe will control Sunday’s clash at the Aviva Stadium.
“If it’s 50-50, it’s going against the Wallabies at the moment, with perception of the referees around the world,” Turinui said.
“If I’m a referee, I’m thinking well, I know which team I’m watching here on habits and watching the Wallabies, rightly or wrongly, that’s the way it is. So if I’m Dave Rennie, I’ m trying to change the perception of the referees around the world to the fact that the Wallabies are ill disciplined.”
Turinui added that debutant Ben Donaldson had been handed a tough hand by Rennie against Italy, coming on with just five minutes to play and asked to kick the match-winning goal.
“I think it’s a mistake. I think you either give Donaldson 15-20 (minutes) or none and I think perhaps there’s a little bit of a human element from Dave and his coaching staff. They know that his mum and dad and his uncle and family made the trip,” he said.
“And there’s a bit of an emotional side to it. ‘Oh, we don’t want to see him on the bench and not put him on.’ But it’s a high price to pay for the Wallabies in losing that Test match.
“He’s got to come on cold and kick that goal.”
For all the doom and gloom surrounding the Wallabies, Turinui expected to see a strong response against Ireland.
“This week, everyone’s walking in filthy, with that little bit of anxiety and pressure, which can be positive and negative as well. But there’ll be a reaction for the Wallabies, and it could be that we see a much improved performance. “
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