LY­NAGH: OZ ‘FAT BOYS’ A VI­TAL COG

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sport - BY ADAM HATH­AWAY

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

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