Genia reveals details of Canberra spray

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Wallabies vice-captain Will Genia has revealed the contents of the player-led half-time spray which spurred the Wallabies to victory the last time they faced Argentina.

Coach Michael Cheika said post-match he was ready to deliver some home truths as his side trailed 13-10 in Canberra, only for the leadership group to have taken care of the matter before he walked in the door.

Genia happily admitted he was one of the leaders with steam spouting from his ears as he walked into the sheds.

The halfback rates it as one of the biggest sprays he has dished, with his eyes firmly focused on the forward pack’s sloppy breakdown work in the first 40 minutes.

"It'd be up there, because I remember when I was coming in I was just filthy because as a halfback you don't like having to dig for the ball or getting bumped off the ball,” he said.

“We spoke about that as an area that they were going to come at off the back of the Boks giving it to us in Perth,”

"But it wasn't about me, it was more the fact that I knew if we could get that right as a team, we could function, we could get a result, we could start playing some good rugby and get some enjoyment out of it.

"That was more the motivation for the spray more than anything else.”

Genia made a concerted effort to address the breakdown presence before the Wallabies faced the Springboks in Bloemfontein last weekend and the service he was able to provide flyhalf Bernard Foley was far cleaner throughout.

“Since then I have been trying to get around individuals in the warm-up, making sure they know that's what I expect from them,” he said.

“That's what I want, that's what, as a team, we need and putting that responsibility on the forwards to make sure they deliver that.”

For Genia, attaining consistently clean ball unlocks a backline that can score points against any defence in the world.

“That is the key - if we're good with our carries, (have) nice long ball placement, we’re accurate around the breakdown - the shape and structure we want to play with is good enough to take apart any team,” he said.

“With the way that we play the game if they can deliver that for us and give us that platform, more often than not we are going to win games because of them, not because of individual brilliance in the backs or things like that.

“If you look at the times we have played well, it's about (the forwards) carrying well up the middle and giving us good, clean, quick ball and the backs taking advantage of whatever space that creates.”

Genia expects a high octane, breakdown-centric approach from Argentina as they have one last crack at breaking their 2017 Rugby Championship duck.

“They feel like we're the team they can beat, that we're the team they're the most chance of beating, I don't think I'm wrong in saying that,” he said.

"They always come out against us looking to play a high-tempo game when they have ball in hand, run us around, offloads, and putting a lot of pressure on the breakdown to disrupt our attack.

"The key for us is not sitting back waiting for that to happen but confronting it from the moment we start.

"That's a challenge, in Canberra we weren't good enough in that area, we've got to make sure we're proactive, not reactive.”

Australia takes on Argentina in Mendoza on Sunday October 8, kicking off at 9:40am AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS.