Turinui: How the Wallabies turned it all around

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by Morgan Turinui

Long tours like the Wallabies are on at the moment in the UK are often where special things happen.

Travelling and spending a lot of time together brings teams closer and it also gives coaches and players the chance to work on their core skills, something that often gets neglected for a number of reasons when you are at home with all its distractions.

Core skills like catch and pass, so shouldn’t these be a given when you get selected for the Wallabies I hear you ask? 

Well they are things that need to be constantly worked on and I always found that the harder you work on them the luckier you get on game day.

For ‘Cheik’ and the Wallabies at the moment Rugby’s where it starts and it ends seven days a week and there is a reduced amount of static in the background.

We saw some of the fruits of that from the boys in the early hours of Sunday morning in that encouraging 32-8 Test win over Wales.

There was crisp passing, direct running and sound defence that saw the Wallabies score five tries to one in Cardiff, while at the same time it would be fair to say that they left at least two maybe three out on the pitch.

So where has this type of form been throughout 2016, a year when we have been on the end of a number of hidings from the All Blacks and have won only three Tests from the 10 that we have played.

"You could see it blossom on the weekend with the catch and pass skills of the forwards (tight five in particular) very much on song." 

Well it’s been simmering away in the background as ‘Cheik’ and the Wallabies coaching staff get the skill level required up to play what has been referred to as “The Australian Way” up to speed.

You could see it blossom on the weekend with the catch and pass skills of the forwards (tight five in particular) very much on song.

This was never more evident than in the try that Bernard Foley scored down the left hand edge in the second half from a turnover.

Rory Arnold saw that there was room out to the left, shifted the ball quickly and Adam Coleman who was able to put Foley into space in what I thought was the Wallabies’ best try of the afternoon.

Earlier we saw Sekope Kepu put on a lovely flat ball to Israel Folau on 14 minutes ands 'Izzy'  was able to break the line. Then there was Reece Hodge’s try where we carried twice to the open side and then struck back on the short side to get the line break and meat pie.

Physicality and offload awareness look like they are a priority on this tour and from what I have seen it is starting to bear some fruit.

The players do the hard yards, but I must say that they were armed with a good “intel” and the game callers executed it all very well.

The fact that the Welsh defenders were often lured in to snuff out attacks in midfield meant that there was room on the outside and people like Foley and Hodge made the most of this.

"Scotland will be a completely different challenge to Wales and they will try to unsettle the Wallabies at set piece and try to take the skill out of the contest."

The first Test of any tour like this is always tough, but the Wallabies arrived in Edinburgh having made a major statement about what they are about.

Scotland will be a completely different challenge to Wales and they will try to unsettle the Wallabies at set piece and try to take the skill out of the contest.

What the Wallabies have to worry about this week is what’s in front of them - the next training session, followed by the next training run.

It’s all about skills and processes and if they get those two things right then winning will take care of itself and I’m confident we can make it two from two this weekend at Murrayfield.

A former Reds and Waratahs Centre, Morgan Turinui played 20 Tests for the Wallabies before spending sevens years in France. He is now Assistant Coach at the Melbourne Rebels.


The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ARU.

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