'Bodyline' philosophy about balance

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

‘’Bodyline” has been a buzzword ahead of the first Test, but both captains are confident there will be a balance on Saturday night.

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore said on Friday that Australia was prepared to use its skills as much as aggression amid the ubiquitous analogy.

“You always want to play within the rules and being physical a big part of that,” he said.

“We’ve got guys that can do other things as well and use their skills in different ways. That is one part of the game but it is an important one.

England captain Dylan Hartley, who has a history of disciplinary blemishes, said he had faith his side would be able to toe the line

“The idea of bodyline when I put that into my own words I thought physicality, aggression, owning the gain line in the game of rugby and to me you need physicality and aggression to play rugby anyway,” he said.

Dylan Hartley says England can toe the line. Photo: Getty ImagesSo, I think it’s just putting more of an emphasis on it, it’s not doing stupid things and going over the top like a headless chook.

“It’s just fronting up, being physically, being aggressive, owning the gain line. That’s how it translated to me.

“I don’t think we have any worries in our team (about discipline).”

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said his side was focused on balance.

“At the end of the day I know it’s a tactic but from our point of view, it’s a  it’s a tactic we would expect,” he said.

“In past years, England have always said they’re going to stick it to us in the forwards and a lot of times they have .So it’s up to us not to let them stick it to us.

“The basics of the game at the top level played under pressure, defensive pressure or attacking pressure and (it’s about) how well you’re able to maintain the balance between aggression and skill and how you can manage the both of them together."

“It’s not one extreme or the other, (but) having a good blend of that and knowing when to use which weapons will be key but I think it’ll come down to the fundamentals come kick off.