Grey's old-school advice to TSS ahead of Nudgee showdown

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Wallabies assistant coach Nathan Grey went back to the future on Wednesday when he visited The Southport School's 1st XV ahead of their winner-take-all grudge match against Nudgee College.

The coveted 1st XV GPS premiership in Brisbane will be on the line when TSS take on Nudgee at Ross Oval, with neither side tasting defeat to date this season.

The final round showdown brings back fond memories for Grey, who lined up alongside fellow Wallaby Mat Rogers in the 1992 TSS side which rolled an Elton Flatley-led Nudgee for the first time in two decades.

"We did beat them for the first time in a very long time," Grey said.

"It was a huge game and one of my schoolboy rugby highlights for sure."

Grey was nostalgic when asked about the return to his alma mater, who will be led by Crusaders recruit Campbell Parata in their quest for premiership glory.Grey starred for TSS' 1st XV in 1992. Photo: Getty Images"I hadn't been back in a very long time," he said.

"Just meeting the young 1st XV players you have flashbacks to when you were those young, fresh faced kids in their blazers.

"Enjoying your rugby experience at school and thinking it is the be all and end all and just having a bit of a chuckle about how it puts things into perspective around 1st XV rugby.

"It's really just the start of their rugby journeys."

Grey's journey has led him to his current job as the Wallabies' defensive coach and he believes the way the Australians defended against South Africa is the benchmark which now must be met for the remainder of the season.

"Good defensive performances need to be standard for us," Grey said.

"I get a bit agitated when people talk about a good defensive display.

"That needs to be our benchmark.The Wallabies have set now set the standard in defence, according to Grey. Photo: Getty Images"Everyone fulfilling their role within that system."

The Argentinians pose a live ball threat which isn't dissimilar to the way the All Blacks play and quelling their offload game will be key to success on Saturday.

"You have to ensure when a team offloads a lot that your inside and outside support is very well connected and you don't knock off," Grey said.

"If you knock off on the inside against teams that offload well and want to take that inside space you are going to pay for it.

"That's a team focus and something everyone has responsibility on - guarding that inside space."

The Australians have also put a big emphasis on dominant tackles which will present opportunities for David Pocock - should he be named on Thursday - to pounce at the breakdown.

"We have been consistent in forcing turnovers with our defence so we have to use that as a weapon," Grey said.

"Defensively it's all about creating those opportunities for guys like Pocock and that starts with an effective tackle.

"Gone are the days where someone who makes the tackle can get to back to their feet and make that turnover - you have to create those opportunities for other guys.

"We want our defenders to create those opportunities all the time.

"If you create ten, David is a guy who can get you six or seven of those."

The Wallabies face the Pumas at Robina Stadium on Saturday, kicking off at 8pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and RUGBY.com.au radio.