Well the Lions your has ended with the pummelling many fair minded fans expected at some point during this series. This is a time to reflect on the Australian performance and learn from it with an eye on the upcoming Rugby Championship and the next World Cup. Here are the 5 key learnings, for mine, arising from this series:
1. Australia MUST have a better preparation than a 3 week training camp before the first test of a series. Stopping the players from playing for their franchises in the weeks preceding the first test was a mistake with the Wallabies often looking disjointed and unorganised in that first test.
2. Ben Mowan is a future captain of Australia. Has there been a more composed and purposeful start to a career in a Wallabies jumper than that of B Mowan? What a brilliant commencement to a career: was in everything and never took a backward step.
3. James O’Connor is not a test fly half. Yes he set up our only try in the second test and yes he scored in the third test. That does not mean he gets a pass mark for his performance in this series. O’Connor is a centre or a winger and he played like one.
4. Jesse Mogg is Chris Latham reincarnate. Mogg’s long period on the field after Folau’s injury was enough for me to be certain that Mogg’s booming left boot and excellent positional play are a must for future test matches. He must be our fullback.
5. James Horwill is an innovative captain but MUST learn to take the points. All too often this series the Wallabies were in attacking position and without a penetrative attack and yet still Horwill chose to go for tries rather than easy points on offer. This must stop.
I am not going to talk about Cooper or Deans or Beale or the scrum. These are all issues that are obvious. The lessons above transcend those obvious issues.
The Wallabies were competitive but never really threatened. Some dark days are ahead if the Wallabies do not learn from this!