When Andrew Sheridan almost singlehandedly destroyed the Wallaby front row at the 2007 World Cup and then he and his England team-mates did the same in the summer of 2010, the Australians were becoming something of a laughing stock.
All the fancy back play in the world couldn't disguise the weakness at the coal face as their falability up front threatened to ruin all their good work behind.
But things have steadily improved over the past two seasons and now Blades believes his new charges are on the right track thanks to a change in attitude in the lead up to the 2013 Lions tour.
"We're doing whatever we can to keep scrums up," said Blades, who joined Robbie Deans' coaching team earlier this summer.
"I think if we have that mentality, it will make it more blatant if teams are trying to milk stuff because it will look like we're fighting.
''The last few years, the 50-50 decisions at scrum time when a scrum collapses will often go against Australia. So we're focusing on trying to take that out of the game by being the ones who work really hard in keeping the scrum up, keeping it square, to fight through those things.
"It can't be a case of saying, 'The scrum feels as if it is going down, I'll let it go and let the referee make the decision', because we know from a historical point of view we'll come out on the wrong side of the ledger. We have to take the initiative."
A new-found confidence is also helping the Wallaby front row hold their own, with June's three-Test series with Wales the latest example of a growing belief in their ability to take on the big boys.
A Welsh side featuring an all-Lions front row struggled to dominate the tight exchanges as Blades saw his men stick to their task even when things got tough in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
''The players have more of a fighting mentality and believe it is important that you don't give up easily,'' added the 1999 World Cup winning prop.
''You've started to see that in the Super Rugby, such as the Waratahs having a great result up front against teams like the Crusaders. That gives the guys confidence to compete physically at that level.
"Where we know the pressure is going to come on, the guys know exactly what their job is and they can just focus. That is the important thing, our guys understanding. I think we saw it at times in the Welsh series.
"You can let fear get in the way... or you can use that pressure and focus in and I think that's what the guys are getting their heads around now.
"The guys know they can do it. It's now about having your mental attitude right on the day, and that we don't concede anything.''