When things go wrong, they seem to snowball. The Wallabies can attest to that.

Four losses on the trot have put everyone in the Wallabies' set-up under the pump.

Injuries to skipper James Horwill and veteran forward Hugh McMeniman have robbed the team of vital leadership at a time when they need it most.

And confidence in their expansive game plan took a hammering following last week's 38-12 capitulation to South Africa in Brisbane.

Even the weather gods seem to be conspiring against the Wallabies, who were looking forward to some beach and golf activities in Perth this week, but were instead greeted by rain and thunderstorms.

Yep, it all looks pretty glum, and a loss to Argentina on Saturday night would cap off the horror stretch.

Most teams would fracture under the pressure.

But the Wallabies are desperate to buck the trend, and coach Ewen McKenzie feels his players have enjoyed a major breakthrough this week.

"There's been a couple of moments this week, really significant moments," McKenzie said.

"They wouldn't mean much to people outside.

"But they're moments of humour and camaraderie as opposed to pressure and sadness.

"I'm really pleased. I feel like we've turned the corner on that side of it.

"Sometimes you feel like you're marking time, but we've jumped ahead a bit there.

"That will help us on the field."

Centre Adam Ashley-Cooper, who was promoted to vice-captain this week following Will Genia's relegation to the bench, said the players had made an extra effort to bond following last week's horror display against the Springboks.

"On the back of a loss like that, you can certainly get lost in what you're trying to achieve as a player and as a team," Ashley-Cooper said.

"But this week, we've gone out of our way to not only address the areas we needed to clear up in terms of strategy, but also our culture as well.

"We've had poker nights. We've had team dinners. We've remained really tight.

"The most important thing is remaining connected when the times are challenging."

And as for the winner of the poker night?

"Saia Fainga'a, believe it or not," Ashley-Cooper said with a laugh.

"He has no idea how to play.

"He sat next to me early on and had to ask whether a three of a kind beats a two-pair. I thought, 'I've got this guy for sure'."

 

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