Welsh will be tougher in 2nd Test, says Pocock
Round one went to David Pocock, but Australia’s skipper knows opposite number Sam Warburton and his Welsh teammates will be a tougher proposition in Saturday’s second rugby union Test.
Pocock is bracing for a fierce contest with rival flanker and captain Warburton in Melbourne on Saturday and says the Welsh leader will be fronting a much hungrier group of tourists.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans described Pocock as a physical freak after his dominant work at the breakdown against Warburton helped Australia to a 27-19 win over the Six Nations champions in the first Test in Brisbane.
Pocock says he relishes the challenge of facing the best openside flankers.
“I love coming up against good sevens,” Pocock told reporters on Monday.
“He (Warburton) is hard on the ball and has got a high work rate – they’re the things that are the start for modern sevens.
“He’s the kind of guy who’s not satisfied losing, so he’ll be driving his side this week and I’m sure they’ll come out firing this Saturday night.
“They’re a classy side. We’re well aware we’ll be up against a much improved and hungrier Wales side this week.”
Pocock said, despite the impressive turnaround following last Tuesday’s 9-6 loss to Scotland in Newcastle, the Wallabies still have a lot of work to do.
“Some things were a bit rusty and we’re definitely not where we want to be,” he said.
“But what you did see is a willingness to work for each other. That’s going to be crucial this Saturday.”
That willingness and depth were crucial as the Wallabies’ held on after Wales clawed back from 20-6 down to 20-19 with 17 minutes left.
“The great thing for us was, at 20-19, it was anyone’s game,” Pocock said.
“We put on some reserves who really added a lot and we were able to control the next 10 minutes. That was pleasing, but there’s plenty to work on.”
Deans also lauded his captaincy in his second Test as stand-in skipper for the injured James Horwill, but Pocock says he has no immediate designs on the job.
“I’m enjoying it at the moment, but nothing’s changed. James Horwill is captain of the Wallabies and I’m standing in for him while he’s injured,” he said.© AAP 2013