Wallabies keen to set pace in second Test

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies want to step up the pace when they take on England in next week’s second Test.

Australia looked formidable in the opening 16 minutes, with two quick tries coming off the back of some electric attack, but England began to grind the game to a halt.

The change of pace disrupted the Wallabies and forced the game into set piece plays, a move winger Dane Haylett-Petty said was deliberate by their opponents in a ‘bittersweet’ debut Test.

“I think they wanted to slow it down on purpose but it was hugely physical,” he said.

“They were rushing us about wide so I was able to find a bit of room out there I stayed away from the middle, they were pretty physical.

“I think we just allowed them to get on top in certain areas and a few 50-50 calls went their way.

“They were able to kick for goal or go to set piece where they’re strong and slow the game right down and that’s what they did.”

Christian Lealiifano came on after Rob Horne's night was ended with concussion. Photo:ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyHaylett-Petty said the Wallabies would need to focus on maintaining a fast-paced attack to even up the series.

“I think they wanted to make it a bit of a brawl and we wanted to play the game open and that’s definitely a challenge for next week,” he said.

“I think whenever we played up tempo we found space,” he said.

“We started well and fell away a bit and that was the message at half-time.

“We came back and tries to get the tempo up put the pressure back on them and we did it in patches but just not for long enough.”

The Wallabies backline was forced into a reshuffle after Rob Horne’s exit from the game with concussion, with Samu Kerevi pushing out on the wing and Christian Lealiifano coming on.

Haylett-Petty said the balance of the bench, with a 6-2 split, made it a challenge but was proud for the way they adjusted.

“I thought all the boys did very well filling different role,” he said.

“Rob will be right for next week but there’s always a bit of pressure on that 6-2 bench I thought Christian came on and stepped up, filling different roles and Samu moving out wide.”

Samu Kerevi was effective in the backline. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyKerevi, also on debut, said he felt at home in the Test side but the team as a whole needed to be more adaptive.

“I felt comfortable, especially playing outside one of the best 13s in the world and got Hoops inside, Nard’s inside me defending and things like that,” he said.

“I think we just didn’t play in the moment.

“We didn’t keep staying to our strengths.

“We kind of saw space out wide and we tried to take it too much but we didn’t go through the middle so they got us there and it’s something to work on.”

The Wallabies will look to even up the series in Melbourne next Saturday night.