The Wallabies' Keystone Cops-esque win in Argentina to only just scrape themselves off the bottom of the Rugby Championship table only confirms the obvious. An often simple team, which really struggles to think on its feet, requires a very simple game plan for it to succeed.
After being hit by a Puma typhoon which allowed the home team to enjoy a 24-point halftime lead, what you do during the break is strike fear in their poor innocent hearts by ranting and raving, pushing and prodding them. Then you grab one of them to really freak them out. Suddenly the Australian players respond because the game has become a matter of life or death. That worries them.
Then you tell them- ever so slowly- basic facts about a game which has been made too complicated by countless pedestrian 'justifying their own existence' coaches.
The good leaders of rugby victors have been talking about it for decades.
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Forget the elaborate theories. This slow-thinking Wallabies bunch just don't comprehend it. They instead demand basic 'The Cat Sat On The Mat' philosophies.
Get the ball first up. Then keep it. Hold onto it. Don't throw it away with stupid long cut-out passes, or meaningless kicks. Run straight. Go direct. Don't drift across in attack. Support each other. Be there for the short pass. Take the ball past the advantage line. Get the phase playing going. Forget the crazy loopy 50-50 passes. Build the pressure, and wait for the moment to cut through. Be patient. Don't force anything. Again back each other.
It's amazing what can happen when you stick to such an elementary plan.
Suddenly Australia from extended phase play found gaps and with it came a flourish of points. A dishevelled outfit was suddenly dominant. Converted tries led to scoreboard pressure that immediately affected Argentina, and seemingly composed Pumas suddenly panicked. It was almost as if the teams had swapped jerseys at half-time.
For about 35 minutes, the Wallabies played solid, composed, properly structured football, and reaped the benefits. Yes, it was a spirited triumph in difficult circumstances, but was helped along by Argentina perplexingly becoming cardboard cut-outs. Their coach Mario Ledesma was at a loss to explain why his team suddenly disappeared, providing the most damning of after-match comments: "We just stopped defending- it was almost like we did it on purpose."
On purpose? Oh no!!
As damning was the other 45 minutes of the Wallabies performance. It was deeply disconcerting; so much so that this Australian victory must not be allowed to camouflage glaring frailties within this outfit. Nor can the team and its management be allowed to get away with any 'we showed the critics' carry-on.
What cannot be ignored is the fact that the Wallabies should never have been in such a diabolical state of being down 28-7 after letting in four converted tries during the first 30 minutes, or suffering a 31-7 half-time deficit. Their first-half effort ranks close to the worst by an Australian rugby team in the past decade or so, and somehow they got away with it.
After the stupidity the previous weekend against the Springboks of throwing a mad cut-out pass in the opening seconds which led to an intercept try, you would have thought the Wallabies had learnt. But no in the first few minutes, there were crazy Wallaby cut out passes going in every direction. Why?
Then the Wallabies completely lost their heads. Simple tackles were missed. At least 20 weren't made. Easy passes were dropped, or flew over the sideline. They get a turnover, and instead of taking advantage of that, a meaningless kick would bounce over the dead-ball line. Momentum was immediately lost.
As one media commentator, with deep links with the Wallabies team management, uttered during the Fox Sports television broadcast- this was a 'crisis of confidence.'
The crisis was so raw countless Wallaby supporters probably missed the second half revival, as they would have turned off the television in disgust during the break, and headed back to bed.
Then in the final minutes, the Wallabies became Wombats once again. They had done all the hard work, taken the lead, and only had to remain composed as the Pumas went on their final charges. Nothing stupid.
So what does the hot-headed hooking replacement Tolu Latu do in the 76th minute? He decides to belt an opponent in the head with his forearm. Sheer lunacy. And so dumb, especially as Latu deserved a red card, rather than a yellow card which saw the Wallabies down a man for the last four minutes.
Again the dopey Wallabies got away with it. But they won't against better opponents. Eighty minutes of good football is required. Not a mere 35, dragged down by 45 minutes of tripe. Normal transmission will resume in three week's time when the Wallabies confront the All Blacks in Japan. In spite of all the theatrics about a stunning spirited comeback, the reality remains that the Wallabies are at least a 15-20 point inferior team to New Zealand, and on a level below South Africa, England and Ireland. Even Scotland are no longer Wallaby easybeats.
Until that changes, the ever inconsistent Wallabies will continue to occasionally enlighten, but nine times out of ten infuriate, to remain deep among the international also-rans. They will continue to lose their dwindling fan base. Quite a lot have already given up.
Less than a year out from a World Cup tournament, that's not good enough. Nor is finishing with two wins from six in this year's Rugby Championship. Their championship campaign was a flop, involving too much unnecessarily unintelligent losses.
If the invisible Rugby Australia board are happy with that and stick with exactly the same Wallabies team managerial structure for another 12 months, it sadly confirms that like their national side they are a mediocre mob in dire need of change.