Defensive grind a simple formula

by staff

The Wallabies’ defensive efforts had everyone talking after their 15-6 win over Wales but both captain and coach said the reasons behind it were simple.

The usual fast-paced attack the Wallabies play with was replaced with a major showing of grit when Australia were two men down deep in Welsh attacking territory but it has been there all along, Cheika said.

“It’s not a secret weapon,” he said.

“If they say behind every man is a good woman then behind good attack you have to have a good defence because you’re going to drop the ball sometimes.

“You want to play attacking rugby you’re going to lose the ball sometimes and you’ve got to be prepared for that but being able to react in defence.”

Cheika played down the significance of the seven-minute period where the Wallabies were outnumbered but said he was proud of their effort.

While no tries were scored, Cheika said he preferred this win to that against England, which spoke to the former Randwick forward in him.

“Being a forward and not a very talented one, I like that (win) tonight,” he said.

“There wasn’t much talent there, there was just getting stuck in and working hard for each other and trying to resist the opposition.”

Captain Stephen Moore dispelled any notions that this was miraculous or spectacular, saying it was just a matter of everyone doing their job.

“It’s not complicated, we just tried to keep it fairly simple, just working hard for each other,” he said.

“That comes through training hard, trying to get better every day during the week.

“You don’t magically find that on the weekend, it’s something we’ve worked hard on, I suppose.”

The Wallabies will have to possible injury concerns out of that match, after David Pocock was replaced with a calf concern and Israel Folau’s ankle pulled up sore.

“David’s got a bit of a bang on his calf,” Cheika said.

“It doesn’t seem too bad but at the end I brought him off because I wasn’t sure who to bring on or bring off when all that was happening so I had to make a decision to bring someone on and David (came off) because he was hobbling a bit.

“He seemed okay in the dressing room.

“Israel...In a perfect world we would have brought him off with 10 or 20 minutes to go because he hadn’t trained all week.

“He got through the game but the first signs are pretty much the same as last week.”