Australia not on song – Tune

Former wing Ben Tune has described Australia's 2006 Tri-Nations campaign as "mediocre" after the Wallabies completed a disappointing tournament with a 16-24 loss in South Africa. [more]

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Former wing Ben Tune has described Australia’s 2006 Tri-Nations campaign as "mediocre" after the Wallabies completed a disappointing tournament with a 16-24 loss in South Africa.

Tune believes New Zealand were clearly the best team in the competition and was disappointed with the Wallabies’ failure to win on foreign soil.

"The All Blacks clearly dominated both their opponents with a blend of skilful, smart and mentally tough rugby," Tune said.

"I think the Wallabies’ performance all up would be considered mediocre.

"Their inability to win away from home is what concerns me most, considering they won’t have the luxury of playing next year’s World Cup on home soil as they did in 2003.

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"To summarise the 2006 Tri-Nations tournament, I think it would be fair to say it was a bit of a non-event."

Tune was critical of the Wallabies’ inability to make the most of their scoring opportunities, believing that the South Africans played more intelligent rugby.

"I definitely don’t want to take anything away from the South Africans as they played smart rugby and capitalised on their try-scoring opportunities when they came," he said.

"The same can’t be said for the Wallabies, who made numerous line breaks but failed to convert most into points. It was as simple as not having the support players there to finish off the line breaks when they came."

Tune claims the Wallabies’ "heavily structured game plan" resulted in them playing a far less instinctive style than the All Blacks.

"It is no secret that the Wallabies as a nation play a very structured game, which has its pros and cons," he said.

"One of the biggest cons of a heavily structured game plan was evident [on Saturday] in that the players are trained out of reading what is in front of them.

"The first couple of phases are normally scripted, meaning players can be guilty at times of waiting for the script to unfold instead of reacting to what happens in front of them by running a support line for the guy who has just made a line break.

"This is the biggest difference between the Wallabies’ and All Blacks’ playing philosophies. The All Blacks are a lot more instinctive."

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