Wallabies remaining calm despite 'niggle', injury crisis

Wed, Jul 13, 2022, 6:03 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies faced off against England in the second Test at Suncorp Stadium.

Wallabies assistant coach Dan McKellar believes the side will be better equipt at dealing with 'niggling' tactics from the visitors as they prepare for the decider.

Both sides are locked at 1-all as the action heads to the SCG, set to be a sellout as International Rugby returns to the ground for the first time since 1986.

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The English have found success frustrating the Wallabies over the first two Tests with their physical style, with Nic White taking exception to an elbow to the back of his head off the ball.

The incident caused conjecture as the boisterous Suncorp crowd called for more than just a penalty.

McKellar remained confident they will not get 'sucked in' on Saturday as he called on the referees to look after it.

“It’s pretty pointless these days isn’t it? You go rushing in and your third man in and you’re on the receiving end of a yellow card,” the forwards coach suggested.

“It all comes down to emotional control and making sure you're not getting sucked into those sort of tactics.

“The officials will be world-class on Saturday and it’s their job to look after.

“It’s not something we plan or put tactics to in this environment. We have much more important things to worry about that’ll go a fair way towards deciding a Test match than a little niggle.”

One thing that remains a major concern is the sudden and rising injury toll within the squad.

This is most felt in the second-row with McKellar confirming Cadeyrn Neville was still awaiting scans for a potential MCL injury, joined on the sidelines by Darcy Swain (suspension), Izack Rodda (foot), Jed Holloway (calf) and Ned Hanigan (knee).

McKellar believes the current COVID uncertainty has better-prepped players and coaches to deal with mass disruption.

“I think what makes it seamless is the preparation we’ve done over the past 3-4 weeks and understanding whoever’s playing will be involved heavily in preparation over that period of time,” he believes.

“You can’t be throwing your eggs in one basket thinking they’ll get through a series. The game’s played at an incredibly high intensity these days, very physical, and sadly we’ve seen a fair few injuries.

“We’ve been unlucky in that area and every now and again you get clusters in a position, you just have to make sure your whole squad is prepared and ready to step up if required.”

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