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, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 20
Australia 4 2 0 2 9
South Africa 4 1 0 3 6
Argentina 4 1 0 3 5