Former Wallaby and World Cup champion Tony Daly has slammed the Wallabies' recent performances and feels they are too ill-disciplined to beat world rugby’s top nations.
The Wallabies' prospects have plunged during the past fortnight when they were humbled 30-6 against England with Kurtley Beale and Michael Hooper yellow carded.
A week later Scotland smashed them 53-24 with Sekope Kefu’s red card only worsening matters.
“When George Smith played for the Wallabies, he received three yellow cards during his 111 test career (one every 37 test matches), yet Michael Hooper’s already been yellow-carded eight times during 78 tests (one every 10 test matches)”, Daly told Inside Sport.
“(It) says a lot really... the problem is the Wallabies are ill-disciplined and (Michael) Cheika needs to improve their discipline.
“To be standing there from the sidelines sarcastically clapping the refereeing decisions and saying the Wallabies were unlucky doesn’t send a mature attitude from the coach to a player.
“You make your own luck and Cheika whinges when things don’t go his way and it shows in his players' performances.”
But ill-discipline isn’t the only thing worrying Daly, who helped Australia to the 1991 World Cup.
He said the Wallabies aren’t executing at crucial times which is costing them dearly during Test matches.
“If Kuridrani catches that ball, the Wallabies more than likely score (against England) and Kurtley Beale should have shown more urgency, playing to the whistle rather than expecting that ball to go into touch," he said.
“They were two key moments and a switched on team such as the All Blacks would have taken advantage.
“There could be a better option at outside centre, as those passes need to be taken.”
Daly said New Zealand’s dominance comes from its huge national interest in the game including a largely embraced provincial competition.
“Sure, they’ll (the Wallabies) beat the All Blacks once in every eight or nine tests, when there is nothing is on the line, but to be truly competitive things need to change,” he said.
“Australian rugby needs Ewen Mckenzie back, as he is the best coach for the job.”
Mckenzie resigned in 2014 due his support of his Wallabies manager Di Patson amid the Beale text message scandal.
Cheika was appointed almost immediately.
Cheika has been attempting to lift standards by setting up a national coaching panel to restore power back to the ARU from the super rugby franchises.
In May, some of Australian rugby’s sharpest minds, including Daly’s former World Cup winning mentor Bob Dwyer, national skills coach Mick Byrne, coaching director Dick Marks, ARU high-performance manager Ben Whittaker and former Wallaby Rod Kafer met with Cheika to discuss a national coaching panel to support coaches from grassroots to the elite level.
Daly said the NCP helped but the Wallabies' issues ran much deeper.
“They have a cultural problem and they’re too soft,” he said.
“When I was coming through the ranks, I belonged to a youth squad... we stayed in the dorms at Narrabeen taking our sleeping bags and we slept on the floor.
“We were paid a pittance compared to today’s players, yet we were hungry and slotted in when called upon.
“Timmy (Horan), Kearnsy (Phil) and I stepped up when we debuted together in 1989 against the All Blacks at Eden Park.
“We lost 24-12, but won a World Cup together. I won six of 12 tests against the All Blacks. I’ll take that any day.
“These days, they are well paid and mollycoddled before truly achieving anything.”