Wallabies can regain defensive backbone

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 08:52

IN THE SPOTKIGHT: The Wallabies' poor defence can be fixed, assistant coach Nathan Grey said Monday.

Australia will look to salvage the Bledisloe Cup in this week's pivotal second Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks.

Australia conceded six tries in their 42-8 hammering by the world champions in the opening game of the three-match series in Sydney this past Saturday.

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

Coach Michael Cheika was bristling over the team's 38 missed tackles, telling reporters at the post-match 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.

"We're disappointed, certainly, our pride has been damaged.

"But the great thing about sport is we've got six days to turn things around and Saturday night can't come quickly enough.

"We really want to make sure that we can put in a performance that we're proud of."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0