Wallabies back leadership to make clutch calls

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey says they’ll continue to back their leaders in, as the final Test approaches.

The Wallabies were camped in England’s 22 in the back end of their 23-7 loss to the tourists on Saturday and opted to repeatedly kick to the corner when awarded penalties despite being in kickable areas and just six points down.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said on Sunday his side would continue to back their ball in hand approach, but needed to finish it off

Grey echoed Cheika’s thoughts and pointed to their ability to score off a rolling maul before being unable to crack an impenetrable English defence.

“We always back what the leadership on the field want to do, we have a clear plan and choosing to take those kicks to the corner, we scored a try off a rolling maul and we were able to do that really well,” he said.

“If we do that and then score the points we're having a different conversation.

“It's just a matter of identifying what to do at the right time during a game and we'll always back our leaders to make those right decisions.”

Australia defence coach Nathan Grey backs Wallabies leaders. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyWallabies captain Stephen Moore, who handed over the reins to Michael Hooper when he was subbed off midway through the second half, said they needed to improve communication.

“We just need to be across that detail during the week and I think we were, it's just those tiny little things that might've been a little bit off on the weekend that we need to fix up,” he said.

“As leaders we've got to drive that and make sure our communication on the field is spot on so we know what we're going to do in every situation.

“When you talk about these games it's fine lines and little things to get right.”

Moore also dismissed the temptation to switch to a more conservative, field position-based approach in future, despite being caught in their own half late in the game.

“I think when you watch the game, it was just that last 15 minutes really (we were stuck in our own half) and that probably gives you the sense that we did that for the whole game,” he said.

“We played in our own half in that last 15 so maybe tidy up that little area but I think for most part our field position stuff was okay.

Michael Hooper took the captaincy reins for much of the second half. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmlseyWith England making their desire for a Wallabies whitewash very clear since taking the series out, Moore said the leaders would have a defining week.

“This is the time when you'd  like to think that it comes out the most, be it the coaching staff or the senior players,” he said.

“We've got to show that leadership this week and make sure we prepare as well as we ever have this week, that we're motivated as well as we can be this week because it's another opportunity for us to perform so that's really the be all and end all for us.”