The Wallabies are set to speak to match officials about their main attacking weapon Israel Folau being blunted by what they consider Ireland’s illegal blocking tactics.
While they concede their discipline and kicking both needed to improve after the second Test loss in Melbourne, Wallabies officials were concerned by some of the tactics employed by Ireland.
Apart from blocking high-flying fullback Folau, they questioned the way Ireland slowed Australia’s ball at the breakdown and the policing of off-the-ball incidents like the one in which halfback Will Genia suffered a broken arm from an alleged king-hit.
Genia will be out for six weeks and on Monday Waratahs halfback Jake Gordon was added to the squad.
Attack coach Stephen Larkham revealed officials had spoken to the Wallabies camp before the second Test about the team’s involvement in off-the-ball incidents in the previous game in Brisbane.
He suggested it might be Australia’s turn to seek meetings before the Sydney decider.
“It’s in our hands. It’s something that we have to sit down with the referees and discuss,” Larkham said in reference to Folau being impeded as he sought to contest high balls.
“They might have a different opinion and every team in world rugby uses it and every team in Super Rugby uses it as well.
“But for us I think it’s two-fold. It’s one, getting the kicks accurate so that our chasers aren’t running between two or three guys, and then to bring it to the referees’ attention just to make sure that everything is legal there.
“I think Ireland did a fantastic job at slowing the ball down and again you’ve got to look at their tactics and say: is it something we need to bring up with the referee?”
Larkham said Australia had to have the mentality of making line breaks and breaking tackles, as well as addressing three elements of their kicking game.
“There’s putting the ball out, there’s execution and accuracy of our kicks, and then looking at our chase line and how we can fix that,” he said.
Officials were hoping lock Adam Coleman would recover from a head knock in time for Saturday’s game.
Larkham foreshadowed changes to the 23 for the final Test, though he was reluctant to nominate individuals bar Nick Phipps, the replacement for Genia.
“I expect there will be really good fight in the team this week; it’s really good preparations for the World Cup isn’t it?” Larkham said.
“We’re going to make a few changes this week… it will be really good to see the resolve of the guys.”
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