Henry backs under-fire Wallabies coach McKenzie
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie speaking to the media in Sydney on August 5, 2013. New Zealand coach Graham Henry on Friday urged the Wallabies to stick to expansive rugby and gave his surprise backing to McKenzie.
Three losses in three Tests have piled the pressure on McKenzie, who took over from New Zealander Robbie Deans in July, but Henry said Australia were "trying to play the game the right way".
"When they were the best team in the world at the turn of the century, they played an expansive game," the former All Blacks coach, now a consultant with Argentina, told reporters.
"It's the way they should play because that's their mentality and that's their skill level.
"I don't think you are going to win games by playing chess-board rugby and kicking the balls in the air and chasing it.
"That's not the way Australians play, and they haven't got the forward pack that can give you that sort of dominance.
"I think they're trying to play the game the right way. They're struggling at the moment, but I think a couple of wins under Ewen will put them right."
The 1999 world champions' attacking style has come in for criticism following their losing start to the Rugby Championship, including last week's 38-12 defeat to South Africa in Brisbane.
McKenzie has reacted by benching Will Genia, rated one of the best scrum-halves in the world and skipper last week, for Saturday's bottom-of-the-table game against Argentina in Perth.
New captain Ben Mowen, who only made his Wallabies debut in June, said he has been kept busy this week ensuring the side is primed for a good performance against Argentina.
"The biggest part of the job is making sure you give great clarity to the group around how we want to play and what we're trying to execute," the backrower said.
"To me, the role is purely about making it black and white for the side, so there is no grey going into the weekend. The responsibility is to help navigate the side to a victory."
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