GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Adam Coleman of the Wallabies and team mates prepare for a scrum during The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and Argentina Pumas at Cbus Super Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Adam Coleman of the Wallabies and team mates prepare for a scrum during The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and Argentina Pumas at Cbus Super Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Wallabies vs All Blacks is now a mute comparison

IT says a lot about the current state of Australian rugby that the Wallabies feel they have a point to prove against Argentina.

That's no slight on the Pumas, who have established themselves among the best teams in the international game after reaching the semi-finals at two of the last three World Cups.

Rather, it's a reflection of where the Wallabies, who have tumbled to a worst-ever ranking of seventh in the world, sit in the sport's pecking order.

There was a time when the only team the Wallabies measured themselves against was New Zealand but after 16 years of successive Bledisloe Cup losses, that's quickly become a mute comparison.

Australia's Israel Folau, Matt Toomua and Adam Coleman, from left, react to losing, after the rugby union test match between Australia and Argentina
Australia's Israel Folau, Matt Toomua and Adam Coleman, from left, react to losing, after the rugby union test match between Australia and Argentina

With a vastly superior head to head record against Argentina, beating the Pumas was almost taken for granted but that no longer holds true as the Wallabies found out the hard way when they lost 23-19 at the Gold Coast three weeks ago.

That defeat still stings and has left the Australians in the rare position of having to turn the tables on the South Americans to avoid finishing last in the Rugby Championship.

"When we lost at home that hurt a lot," Wallaby lock Adam Coleman said.

Michael Cheika will front the Rugby Australia board on Friday.
Michael Cheika will front the Rugby Australia board on Friday.

"(We're) just using that and turning that into motivation instead of letting that hurt hold you down, making sure it builds you up to perform the next time you get that opportunity.

"The boys are really looking forward to this weekend and really looking to enjoy it too."

Although Will Genia has brazenly predicted the Wallabies are certainties to beat the Pumas this weekend, not everyone shares his confidence, with bookmakers installing Argentina as the favourites.

Adam Coleman of the Wallabies and team mates prepare for a scrum against Argentina
Adam Coleman of the Wallabies and team mates prepare for a scrum against Argentina

Coleman said he was under no illusions that it was going to be a titanic struggle but feels the Wallabies have an obligation to win because they let so many people down with their self-inflicted loss at the Gold Coast.

"Not only do we owe it to the coaches but we owe it to ourselves. The boys have done a lot of hard work over the last couple of months but also to the Australians back home," he said.

"We let them down on home soil so it will be a great opportunity to play Argentina again here and I know the boys are really looking forward to getting on the field this weekend and putting on a good performance."



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