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

Reds vs Waratahs
sast: 11h45 | local: 19h45

  • 26 | 26
LIVE
Force vs Lions
sast: 13h55 | local: 19h55

  • |
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 April 2017
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Rebels v Lions 05h00 Melbourne
Chiefs v Reds 07h35 New Plymouth
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5