All Blacks set to target Wallabies lineout

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

 The lineout has laid the foundation for New Zealand’s domination over the Wallabies in their past two clashes and captain Kieran Read wants to make it a hat-trick on Saturday night.

Australia has recalled Scott Fardy into its starting team for the second Bledisloe, adding another option in the set piece and more height to their backrow.

Read said though Fardy would be another threat, they would still be looking to add the heat from the lineout.

“We'll keep looking to put as much pressure as we can,” he said.

“I think it's an area of strength at the moment.

“They've certainly got quality players - Fardy adds a lot to their lineout coming back in and certainly a bit of height, so will probably be another good battle for  us on Saturday night.”

“Certainly he's very good over the ball as the other two (Pocock and Hooper) are, so, just hardens that breakdown battle.”

Kieran Read says the lineout will be key again. Photo: Getty ImagesWhile coach Steve Hansen said complacency was a ‘major concern’ for his side, Read certainly didn’t seem in danger of that, speaking about the areas in which New Zealand needs to improve for Saturday’s match.

“I think our control of the ball needs to be a lot better,” he said.

“We probably coughed up a bit too much pill in the second half last week and then I think probably looking ahead to tomorrow night, our territory game is probably going to be pretty crucial against a team that has a few kickers.

“They'll look to really come at us there.”

Returned Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper could be one that threatens with his kicking, but that would be the only element of his return that Read would be worried by, describing the 28-year-old’s selection as a ‘non-issue’.

“Really it's a non-issue for us as a squad,” he said.

“We're here to play footy against whoever it is and I know in the past in New Zealand it's created a bit of a stir but a lot of our guys probably weren't involved in those moments.

“So it's just another name on the team sheet for them."