England has woken Wallabies beast

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia is one Test down against England but hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau says the visitors have simply woken the beast in the Wallabies.

Far from feeling despondent after their 28-39 Test loss, Polota-Nau said the defeat would fire up the Wallabies as they look to even up the ledger at AAMI Park this weekend, though they were bracing for an improved English line up as well.

“If anything, they've woken up the beast,” he said.

“ It's great. We can make sure that come training, we have no illusion that they're going to be physical.

“We've just got to make sure we give it to each other, really, because that's how it's going to be come Saturday, because they'll be more than fired after beating us up in Brisbane.”

The Wallabies have spent many a match lead-in donning the underdog tag and Polota-Nau said their true character would be revealed in the crucial Test on Saturday.

“I guess it's always the best when you sort of see the true test of a person's character when they're down and out,” he said.

“People think we are (down and out), but at the end of the day it's more so how we bounce back and reply to the situation.”

“We're more than capable.”

The Wallabies have been working hard in the gym. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyEngland coach Eddie Jones has gone to great lengths to remind his side of the resilience of Australian teams, with the hosts having never coughed up the second Test in a three-match series at home.

In what has been much-hyped as a physical series, Polota-Nau said they had to find the balance between niggly, aggressive tactics and exploiting their skills.

“We were always going to expect it (England’s physicality),” he said.

“It was more so just the accuracy, because you can be physical, but you can miss the target and obviously our breakdown, we need to make sure that they don't even get a chance to have a sniff at the ball.

“I thought their back-row did a great job in terms of getting on the ball. We have to make sure we nullify that.”

Rob Simmons was looking on in the Wallabies' Tuesday morning session. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyThe availability of lock Rob Simmons (back) is under a cloud, after he missed the morning session of training but Polota-Nau said he would back any of their locks to step up in Simmons’s absence.

“He’s a key senior player around the line-out and also around the park,” he said.

“In saying that, the locks have been very impressive, putting up their hand for competition, especially the likes of Sam Carter and Adam Coleman.”