Kicking game key for Wallabies: Bernard Foley

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Guru

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    Playmaker Bernard Foley admits the Wallabies need to find a better balance in attack and kick for territory more often to avoid another All Blacks slaughter.

    Coach Michael Cheika’s high-risk game plan played right into New Zealand’s hands in last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup opener.

    The Wallabies tried once again to beat the world champions through running, attacking rugby but mistakes and turnovers inevitably followed and the All Blacks were ruthless in taking advantage.

    While the rest of the rugby world is moving towards a more conservative style of play – like the British and Irish Lions, who troubled New Zealand in their recent tour by relying on defence and set-piece – Australia seems committed to doing the opposite.

    And while Foley can’t see any dramatic changes as long as Cheika is at the helm, he conceded more variation was urgently needed in their attack.

    “It’s something we’ve got to get better at,” Foley told AAP.

    “We’ve outlined how we want to play the game, but you’ve got to have a balance.

    “You don’t want to be playing in the wrong areas of the field because it can hurt you and it leads to points, and you’re probably putting yourself under unnecessary pressure.

    “You need a bit of both – you’ve got to kick the ball and you’ve got to run the ball.

    “We want to keep defences guessing, we don’t want to become predictable or an easy team to defend against.”

    Australia has dropped to fifth in the World Rugby rankings in the wake of the 54-34 belting in Sydney, and sit less than two points ahead of sixth-placed Scotland.

    Foley was a long way from his best in Sydney and was responsible for a number of errors that directly led to New Zealand tries.

    But he said he was taking a glass half-full approach to the second half, which saw Australia’s attack click with 28 unanswered points – albeit against an All Blacks side that clocked off mentally.

    “I’m not trying to be rosy and gloss over the loss,” he said.

    “But we’re certain that we can improve on the areas where we let ourselves down and be a lot better for it this week.

    “There’s a lot of people saying a lot of things. We cop criticism if we can’t score points or if we kick too much or if we don’t kick enough.

    “The second half showed what we’re capable of doing and what this team’s got the ability to do.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (41)

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 12:43am
      Crash Ball2 said | August 23rd 2017 @ 12:43am | ! Report

      “The second half showed…” Sweet Jesus. It’s like we’re caught in a gravitationally looped non-reality, sans-logic, universal unaccountability bubble from which no current Wallaby escapes. That, or Foley is attempting to leverage the old Jedi mind trick: “this isn’t the smoking rugby trainwreck you’ve read about on Stuff.co.nz. Move along.” Regardless, why is some journalist asking Bernard Foley about kicking out of hand? It’s like asking Bakkies Botha about his preferred method for baking the perfect Mille Feuille.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 6:18am
        Fionn said | August 23rd 2017 @ 6:18am | ! Report

        ‘It’s like asking Bakkies Botha about his preferred method for baking the perfect Mille Feuille.’

        Love it.

        • Roar Pro

          August 23rd 2017 @ 12:49pm
          Boosho said | August 23rd 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

          Come now. Who are you to deny the great man’s baking skills?

      • Roar Guru

        August 23rd 2017 @ 8:00am
        eagleJack said | August 23rd 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        “I’m not trying to be rosy and gloss over the loss”.

        You have to understand that these guys have to remain positive. The ARU demands it.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 2:27pm
        mania said | August 23rd 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        Wow Its a negative reality inversion

        • August 23rd 2017 @ 9:21pm
          Crash Ball2 said | August 23rd 2017 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

          Negative? Like the Wallabies for and against for the last 18 months?

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 1:28am
      Mike Dugg said | August 23rd 2017 @ 1:28am | ! Report

      Hilarious that they would ask foley about kicking. The so called Iceman is hopeless at clearing kicks, kick offs and kicks for touch. Plus he’s missed a ton of gimme penalty goals and conversions. It took him years to start doing cross field kicks to Folau when catching high balls is the best skill Izzy has. It just shows the arrogance of union coaches and players when you consider all they had to do was watch some league tapes of Folau to see the huge number of tries he scored with his leaping ability.
      Wallabies can’t chip or grubber kick well either. Well at least foley can’t. That’s the other problem I have. So many good kickers in the team aren’t utilised. Hunt when he was there, hodge, Beale, and DHP. The Iceman melts under pressure. Let others kick

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 2:51am
      adastra32 said | August 23rd 2017 @ 2:51am | ! Report

      Hmmm, let’s see….how long have the WBs pursued the same “run it from everywhere” game, endorsed and re-endorsed by coach Chubby, resulting in an appalling run of defeats and near-defeats, and almost universal criticism for its narrow and predictable focus?

      So now, in the face of all that failure, suddenly a territory/kicking strategy is deemed necessary alongside the inglorious 7s play. Just like that. In one bound, your heroes will be free.

      NZ by 30 minimum.

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 7:26am
      Fionn said | August 23rd 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      Please, Bernard, I’m begging you, don’t ever kick again. Just pass it to Beale or Hodge, thanks.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 8:24am
        PiratesRugby said | August 23rd 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        We cannot beat ABs with Foley. Foley must go. Foley is a plodder. But on the bright side, he has a good percentage when kicking for goal from within 35m. His touch finders can gain us 20m, sometimes up to 25m.

        • August 23rd 2017 @ 9:25am
          Fionn said | August 23rd 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

          25m is pushing it a bit, Pirates.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 23rd 2017 @ 3:29pm
            Shane D said | August 23rd 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

            With a breeze Fionn!

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 7:54am
      Peter GC said | August 23rd 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      as all good teams know winning starts with defence. I recall Wayne Bennett in that other game say a year or so ago half way through the season that Broncos hadn’t even started working on their attacking game they were still trying to ensure their defence was impenetrable.
      when the Wallabies can defend their line against the best to a single figure score then they can start thinking about what to do in attack.

      All this crash ball crap is just that. This weekend comes down to 2 things for the wallabies ..heart and head.

      when they can process what needs to be done and are prepared to put their bodies on the line time and time again then we can all be proud of our national rugby side.

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 8:01am
      Adsa said | August 23rd 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      ‘Foley can’t see any dramatic change whilst Cheika is at the helm’ – we have a one trick pony at the helm!

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