LYNAGH: OZ ‘FAT BOYS’ A VITAL COG
MICHAEL LYNAGH has urged Australia’s ‘fat boys’ up front to get their game together and take the Wallabies to glory.
Traditionally, set-piece has not been the best of the Aussies’ game and England’s Andrew Sheridan destroyed them at scrum-time in the 2007 quarter-final.
Former Wallaby fly-half Lynagh, a Webb Ellis Cup winner in 1991, has watched Michael Cheika’s (inset) side lose to South
Africa and beat
Argentina in the Rugby Championship before stunning
New Zealand 47-26 in Perth.
The Kiwis reversed that by hammering the Aussies 36-0 in Auckland, but Lynagh says if the Wallabies get the nuts and bolts of their game right, they have a chance. Lynagh (top) is praying Cheika has not shown his full hand in the build-up to the tournament, but admits set-piece is key.
He said: “Our scrum is always a big thing, if we can get parity or even a bit of an advantage. This year we have shown glimpses of that against the All Blacks. Against Argentina, we really dominated. South Africa demolished us, then we went to Argentina and their scrum went backwards.
“Our line-out needs to be strong. Normally you say if we get our set-pieces right, our backs will look after stuff, but that hasn’t been the case in all the games so far. I hope that Cheika is playing a few games.”
Australia open up against Fiji on September 21 in Pool D before a potential group decider against Wales the weekend after.
And Lynagh says a win over Wales could ease a route to the final.
He added: “If we win against Wales, the road to the final opens up. Whoever comes second will play England in the quarter-finals, because they should win their group, then New Zealand in the semi-finals. Australia might be able to do one of those teams, but not two in row.”
RUNAWAY TRAIN Ireland’s James Ryan crashes over to score a try against Wales at the Aviva