We'll torment Wallabies, Ireland warn - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We'll torment Wallabies, Ireland warn

By Jim Morton 21/06/2010 05:54:28 PM Comments (0)

Ireland have warned they have more tormenting tricks up their sleeves as they aim to play the Wallabies at their own expansive game on Saturday night.

Instead of focussing on a battle up front against Australia's depleted front row, the Irish are keen to mix it in attack with the free-running home side.

Former Wallabies backs coach Alan Gaffney, now Ireland's assistant coach, on Monday revealed the tourists had headed Down Under with the primary goal of changing their reputation as a kick-happy team.

Gaffney said it was important for the boys in green to develop their ball-in-hand game under the new law interpretations at the breakdown with just 15 months to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

He criticised their over reliance on the boot in the 62-28 loss to the All Blacks in New Plymouth on June 12, when they were reduced early to 14 men.

"The All Blacks taught us the ball in hand is quite clearly better than kicking the ball away recklessly," he said.

"That's one of the things we're trying to do ... we want to play with more ball in hand."

Ireland salvaged a 20-20 draw with the Wallabies in their last contest when skipper Brian O'Driscoll scored off the last play.

The centre great's try came from a beautifully-constructed, Australian-inspired backline move from a scrum which confounded Wallabies centres Quade Cooper and Digby Ioane.

Gaffney warned they had more sophisticated plays to hurt their rivals but was more concerned about execution than magic.

"We do stockpile them and bring them out as and when needed," he said.

"But as Drico said at the time we'd been practising that play for 12 months and that was the first time we ran it.

"They will be selective with what plays we play on the weekend, we don't want get too exotic with what we're trying to do, we're just hoping to be accurate."

As a former Randwick coach, Gaffney has had plenty of exposure to the Ella brothers and also likes the way rising five-eighth Cooper plays on the advantage line the way Mark Ella used to torment defences.

But he's loath to compare the 21-year-old Queenslander to the former Wallabies skipper and Grand Slam hero.

"It's a pity Mark retired as early as he did (at 25) but obviously the boy has got an enormous amount of talent and could go anywhere," Gaffney said.

"He preferably wants to play the game on the line.

"He's been very very impressive, particularly so against England in the first Test and all through the Super 14."

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