Mowen Factor: in search of a better performance and a win

Much has been made during the week in rugby circles of the dropping of Will Genia and the elevation of Ben Mowan to the captaincy of the Australian team.

 

First things first: Genia had to be dropped. He has been in ordinary form since (indeed during) the Lions tour and only the frailty of Australia's fly halfs and forwards has saved him from scrutiny he otherwise would have faced. Nic White has earned his chance.

 

Onto Mowen: it has been obvious to all keen watchers of Super Rugby that Ben Mowen was a captain of the Wallabies of the future. I just don't think anyone expected his elevation to come so soon. Having seen his exemplary work at the helm of the Brumbies and noting that he is leading a team replete with his Brumbies team mates, I have no doubt he will do a fine job.

 

As a Wallabies fan I want to see a win tonight. It is that simple. Equally, I remember the sour feeling left with me having watched the Wallabies scrape to a win against the Pumas on the Gold Coast last year so the other thing I want to see from the Wallabies is a vastly improved performance as well. It is not good enough, in my unlearned opinion, for the Wallabies to scrape over the line here because that will still be considered a loss in some quarters. So, for me, the win is important but equally as important is the performance.

 

A final word: I wrote earlier in the week about giving Ewen McKenzie a break from the rhetoric and my view in that has not changed. Indeed, I have probably moved even further along the spectrum to the view that I am comfortable with Australia coming third in the Rugby Championship because this is an obvious rebuilding phase in the post Deans era. South Africa and New Zealand are ahead of us at the moment and that, as hard as it is to say, is ok because I have faith that McKenzie can turn us around given time.

 

With one eye on tonight and one on the future: I can not wait for kick off and seeing Ben Mowen lead Australia into battle.

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