Wallabies to review lineout after Bledisloe loss

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies lock Rob Simmons says it would be “stupid” not to look at changing their lineout strategy, in the wake of Australia’s 42-8 loss to New Zealand.

The Wallabies lost two early lineout throws in the defeat, and four overall, in a passage that ultimately led to New Zealand’s first try through centre Ryan Crotty.

The Wallabies struggled in the lineout on Saturday. Photo:ARU Media/Stu WalmsleySimmons said while that start was not ideal, it didn’t affect them through the game.

“It was a little bit frustrating,” he said.

“I suppose that's the strength of our team that we can keep calm, move on and just treat each separate part of whatever’s happening on the field as that part.”

After that domination, though, Simmons said they would be reviewing their calls and approach to the set piece ahead of the Wellington Test.

Rob Simmons says the lineout needs to improve. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley“You'd be stupid not to,” he said.

“I've got to have a look at that and see where we can improve.

“I think that's what everyone's doing this week is reviewing themselves and us and the whole team of how we get better.”

The Wallabies lineout was in the spotlight before the game with the selection of Ben McCalman over Scott Fardy at blindside flanker, leaving the Wallabies with one less jumper at the lineout adding to an already small backrow of Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

Scott Fardy and Dean Mumm led the lineout wins for the Wallabies, with three each, after being injected late in the game but Simmons said selection wasn’t the problem.

“There's a lot of different things that go into a lineout and a short guy being lifted by a tall guy is the same as a tall guy being lifted by a short guy,” he said.

Kane Douglas played his first Test since October. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleySimmons was playing his first match since the June Test series on Saturday, partnering with Kane Douglas, in his first Test back from a knee injury, in an area the Wallabies have had a rolling procession of players in recent times.

Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman both made their Test debuts in the second row in June, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika employing three different partnerships in that series.

All Blacks’ starting locks Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick have both missed just one Test in the past year, Retallick sitting out a World  Cup pool match and Whitelock injured for the opening Wales Test earlier this year.