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 2018

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • Roar Pro

      September 10th 2017 @ 5:11pm
      Crazy Horse said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

      To win scrums the Wallabies need the best forwards in their position in Australian Rugby. The current pack contains too many who aren’t.

      Hannigan and Robertson are not up to it. Maybe when they grow up but not now.

      Give Ross Haylett-Petty a go at 6. There are plenty of Props that are better than Robertson.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 12:16am
        MH01 said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:16am | ! Report

        Agreed. Our issues are a result of poor selections . And no idea why those 2 keep getting selected .

    • September 10th 2017 @ 7:30pm
      Val said | September 10th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

      I find it amazing that Cheika can say with a straight face he has a “quick fix for the lineout” – surely if it was so easy to fix it should have been done before the game or if it’s that quick a fix during the game. The scrum is more difficult but the Wallabies had a month together and knew the scrum wasn’t great after the Italian game.

      Remember most of the fans are true rugby supporters and have a good knowledge of the game – please Cheika give opinions that most fans will believe.

      Hope the lineout goes well over the next few tests!!

      • September 11th 2017 @ 9:25am
        wally said | September 11th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        I thought the set piece highlighted just how underrated Stephen Moore is by the one-eyed tah lovers on this website. Not to mention TPN was true to form and threw some wobbly lineouts, injured himself via bad tackling technique and took a seat on the pine for a 10min stint for the HIA assessment…. and for those who didn’t notice, the scrum also went backwards while TPN was on.

        • Roar Guru

          September 11th 2017 @ 10:21am
          PeterK said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          one game tpn threw poorly, all 3 june tests and 2 rc before this he threw fine

          The scrum is significantly better when TPN is on compared to moore as has been shown whenever TPN replaces moore in a game.

          • September 11th 2017 @ 12:50pm
            wally said | September 11th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

            except vs all blacks a fortnight back. it wasn’t until kepu came on that the scrum gained close to parity

      • Roar Guru

        September 11th 2017 @ 10:21am
        PeterK said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        lineout is easy to fix , if he selects 4 lineout jumpers and drops the concept of starting 2 openside flankers.

        • September 11th 2017 @ 3:39pm
          Dodo Vita said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

          We also need to be more adaptable within a match. When we’re being beaten repeatedly on our throw in a full line out then why not mix it up a bit. Try some short line outs. Try some throws to No. 1. If we dictate shorter line outs then we can stock them with just our tall timber. We need a wider repertoire. If our long throws are skew-if then even more reason to have some short options.

          As for the scrum, an extremely important part of a strong front row is the bind strength of the props. To achieve this, the prop must have the grip strength of a career brickie. Yes, neck, shoulders, back and leg drive are also critical but the best props in Australia should have a withering handshake. Unfortunately, I can’t see this with young Tom. Romanian tractor throwers, Argie goat stackers and Georgian granite crackers, yes, I can see it. The test we used at club level was for our props to be able to hold a case of cans (gripped from above) in each hand for a minute.

          On the topic of quick fixes, how has young Hanigan made it to test level without being picked up on his scrummaging technique? He packs into his prop with his legs, hips,and back in the shape of a boomerang. Zero holding or driving power. It is so easy to fix. He should be ramrod straight from the top of his head to his back foot. Gotta get the basics right.

          • Roar Guru

            September 11th 2017 @ 3:48pm
            PeterK said | September 11th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report


            I posted elsewhere Coleman did not manage the lineouts well, he didn’t adapt, he needed to go to the no 1 jumper or to the front with a throw back to the hooker.

            Instead he kept calling to the middle or long where the boks knew it would go

    • Roar Guru

      September 11th 2017 @ 10:11am
      Ralph said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      Another year, another Wallaby coach pleading his scrum was hard done by.

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