Wal­la­bies can re­gain de­fen­sive back­bone for NZ return

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

THE Wal­la­bies’ poor de­fence can be fixed as they try to sal­vage the Bledis­loe Cup in this week’s piv­otal sec­ond Test against the All Blacks, as­sis­tant coach Nathan Grey said yes­ter­day.

Aus­tralia con­ceded six tries in their 42-8 ham­mer­ing by the world cham­pi­ons in the open­ing game of the three­match se­ries in Syd­ney on Au­gust 20.

New Zealand, which has held the trans-Tas­man Bledis­loe Cup since 2003, can re­tain the sil­ver­ware with vic­tory in Welling­ton on Au­gust 27 ahead of the fi­nal game of the se­ries in Auck­land on Oc­to­ber 22.

Head coach Michael Cheika was bristling over the team’s 38 missed tack­les, telling re­porters at the post­match press con­fer­ence, “We de­fended very poorly. De­fence is at­ti­tude. When play­ers run you’ve got to tackle.”

De­fence coach Grey said the ex­e­cu­tion of the Wal­la­bies’ de­fen­sive struc­ture had been poor against the ram­pant All Blacks.

“It was very dis­ap­point­ing and a lit­tle bit un­char­ac­ter­is­tic, a com­bi­na­tion of guys not get­ting their tech­nique right and also New Zealand car­ry­ing the ball very strongly,” Grey told re­porters.

“The Ki­wis stretched us out in terms of down our edges and their off­load game re­ally hurt us.

“I think just be­ing more ef­fi­cient at our tackle is some­thing that we’re re­ally go­ing to have to fo­cus on a lot.”

Grey said Aus­tralia could re­solve their de­fen­sive prob­lems in time for the Welling­ton Test.

“A lot of de­fence is men­tal ap­pli­ca­tion and that real will and de­sire to want to get in there and be ef­fec­tive,” he added.

“In terms of train­ing we’re go­ing to be re­ally fo­cus­ing on that.”

Grey said the Wal­la­bies were hurt­ing after their hu­mil­i­at­ing heavy loss to New Zealand.

“It’s cer­tainly go­ing to fuel the fire for the week,” he said. –

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