Wallabies 'won't ditch' lineout tactic - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies 'won't ditch' lineout tactic

By Adrian Warren 06/08/2008 06:02:23 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies set piece coach Michael Foley believes inaccuracy was the reason behind Australia's lineout meltdown against New Zealand last weekend.

The lineout has been a strength of Australia's game in recent seasons but the Wallabies lost eight on their own throw in Saturday's 39-10 thrashing by New Zealand in Auckland.

The Wallabies went into the game with a shorter lineout than usual following a foot injury to 197 centimetre blindside flanker Rocky Elsom.

He was replaced by the 175 centimetre specialist openside flanker Phil Waugh.

Wallabies 1999 World Cup winning hooker Foley was adamant that lack of accuracy and execution was the reason was Australia's lineout faltered in Auckland, rather than the lack of another tall back rower.

The Smith-Waugh starting combination has only been used infrequently over the years, but Foley believed it could still work under the right circumstances.

"The selections on the night gave us the right options to be able to attack the New Zealanders where we wanted to," Foley said.

"Unfortunately we weren't accurate in the lineout play and that compromised us.

"It's one of those things, you can pick a taller lineout but irrespective of who you pick, you have to be accurate in your skill."

Australia were also well beaten at the breakdown in Auckland and Foley attributed that to a lack of momentum from set pieces.

Foley said Elsom probably stood a better chance of playing in the next Tri-Nations Test against South Africa than fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper, who broke a hand against New Zealand.

However, the assistant coach said it would be down to the medical staff and no decision was likely until next week when the squad reassembles in Sydney.

Looking to the second half of Australia's Tri-Nations campaign, Foley said the Wallabies needed to address the physical challenges they would face from the All Blacks and Springboks.

"I thought the first two matches we met those physical challenges, last week against New Zealand we probably didn't," Foley said.

"There's no denying it was a performance that wasn't good, but I think the signs generally have been there."

Foley said the players retained a lot of belief despite Australia suffering their first loss in six games under new coach Robbie Deans.

"There's a lot of excitement about what's happening at the moment and they will be busting to get back into it, to put that performance behind them," Foley said.

"It was a little out of character and we will be doing our best to rectify that."

Australia's next two Tri-Nations assignments are away to the world champion Springboks in South Africa.

Foley expected South Africa to supplement their traditional physical style with the more expansive approach adopted by their new coach Peter de Villiers.

"You certainly saw in some of their early season games against Wales and then the Tri-Nations in New Zealand they were moving the ball a lot, I think you'd expect to see a lot more of that," Foley said.

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