Wallabies to seek set-piece fixes

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    The Wallabies face plenty of set-piece schooling this week as they attempt to fix scrum and lineout woes hampering their efforts to become regular winners.

    The Wallabies’ scrum has been exposed in recent Rugby Championship matches against New Zealand and South Africa, and will receive another big test in Saturday’s clash with Argentina in Canberra.

    In the 23-23 draw with the Springboks in Perth on Saturday night, the Wallabies’ scrum got wheeled several times as Australia’s forwards struggled to match it with the power of the South Africans.

    Coach Michael Cheika said both the scrum and the lineout needed attention this week.

    He’s confident he has a quick fix for the lineout, which had been reasonably strong up until the Springboks game when crooked throws and opposition lock Eben Etzebeth combined to cause big issues.

    But it could be harder to find an instant fix for the scrum issues.

    “There were some really good ones, and some very poor ones,” said Cheika of the scrummaging performance against South Africa.

    “And that hurt us – scrum and lineout.

    “We didn’t stick to the trademarks of what we want to do, and we paid the penalty for it.

    “It was a bit of inconsistency in the way we got set for the scrum. I thought there were one or two really bad ones. I thought there were one or two really harsh ones against us.”

    Cheika also wants his team to improve their work around the breakdown after watching his side struggle to get their backs moving in the first half against the Springboks.

    “We struggled to give ourselves clean ball and quick ball,” Cheika said.

    A major positive to come out of the game was the continued hot form of inside centre Kurtley Beale, who sliced through South Africa’s defence to score a first-half try.

    “He’s been unbelievable since he’s come back,” Cheika said

    “For a guy who hasn’t played footy since May, he’s come in and played three full games of footy and killed them.

    “We all need to have that same attitude around wanting it a lot and staying at it.”

    Argentina are winless after three Rugby Championship games this season.

    But the Pumas gave the All Blacks a scare on Saturday night.

    Argentina held a 22-15 lead in the second half, before the All Blacks finally clicked into gear to record a 39-22 win in New Plymouth.

    © AAP 2017