Wallabies confident of set piece improvement

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Wallabies are confident they can continue to improve their set pieces after their win over Fiji.

Australia was put under immense pressure from an improved Fijian scrum and once chief caller Rob Simmons went off the field in the second half, they lost four of their own lineouts.

Those areas will need to improve ahead of their final two pool games against England and Wales, which are almost certain to decide the quarter-final berths.

The Wallabies were quick to praise an improved Fijian scrum after the match.

Wallabies halfback Genia described the Fijijans’ set pieces as ‘exceptional’ after their 28-13 win over the Pacific nation on Wednesday night.

“The ball was stuck there for a long, long time,” he said.

“I was waiting for it to get out but, credit to them, they've done a lot of work on those technical areas of the game and you saw their lineout obviously put pressure on ours as well.

“They played very well, particularly in the technical part of the game."

While the Australian scrum attracted some criticism in the win, Genia said he was confident the Wallabies would continue to improve in that area.

“Mario (Ledesma Australia forwards coach) has done an exceptional job on changing their focus and their attitude,” he said.

“I think it's showing on the field. There were bad times but I think moving forward we're in the right place."

Vice-captain Michael Hooper, who made 22 tackles in the match, followed by David Pocock with 16, reinforcing the potency of the pair’s back row combination.

The breakaway said the first round match-up against Fiji had been a good initiation into the tournament.

"They really took it to us in the set piece, threw it around a lot at the end and made us start working really hard, so great first hit-out for us in all facets of the game,” Hooper said.

“There were certainly points in that game when we were pretty cooked and they're a real quality team to play against.

“It shows how hard the competition's going to be to win."