Cheika flags his changes

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - IAIN PAYTEN & JIM TUCKER

MICHAEL Cheika claimed it would not be a risk to start flankers Michael Hooper and David Po­cock to­gether as the Wal­la­bies coach said he will likely tinker with his side for this week­end’s clash against Ar­gentina in Men­doza.

The Wal­la­bies fly out to South Amer­ica to­day still buoy­ant af­ter their 24- 20 vic­tory over the Spring­boks in game two of The Rugby Cham­pi­onship.

Te­vita Kuridrani scored a post- siren try at Sun­corp Sta­dium in Bris­bane on Satur­day night to help claim the Nel­son Man­dela Chal­lenge Plate for the first time since 2012.

The win was in no small part be­cause of the im­pact of the Wal­la­bies bench in the sec­ond half, in­clud­ing Po­cock.

The Brumbies No. 7 re­placed No. 8 Scott Hig­gin­botham and was out­stand­ing in his first Test since 2012.

Po­cock’s pres­ence led to the Spring­boks giv­ing away a penalty with 90 sec­onds re­main­ing, which skip­per and hooker

We talked a lot out there. We will watch the tape and learn from that and be able to im­prove go­ing for­ward DAVID PO­COCK

Stephen Moore elected to use to chase vic­tory, not a draw.

Hooper claimed man- ofthe- match hon­ours for his de­fen­sive work and a typ­i­cally in­de­fati­ga­ble night out.

Po­cock said his com­bi­na­tion with Hooper would only im­prove.

“I thought it worked well,’’ Po­cock said. ‘‘ We talked a lot out there. We will watch the tape and learn from that and be able to im­prove go­ing for­ward, that com­bi­na­tion.

“Hoops had an out­stand­ing game, he was bril­liant. In at­tack and de­fence he got through a moun­tain of work.

‘‘ It was good to get on at the end with him.”

There has long been ret­i­cence to play two No. 7s given it re­duces line out jump­ing op­tions.

With Will Skel­ton in the side – who is also re­garded as a non- jumper – the dual open side set- up is not al­ways seen as vi­able by some.

But Cheika said with the right plan­ning, Hooper and Po­cock to­gether can work.

“It’s no risk, they are both qual­ity play­ers,” Cheika said.

Cheika said they had worked out how to win enough ball even with Skel­ton on the field but a quiet per­for­mance from the Waratahs lock, and a top ef­fort from his re­place­ment James Hor­will, could open the door for a sim­pler Hooper- Po­cock de­ploy­ment.

The Wal­la­bies coach said yesterday he would likely make changes to the start­ing side for Men­doza.

“I would be naive not to, with the long travel and guys com­ing off the back of a game.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.