After crowd sourcing help for Gatland in his quest for a first Welsh win against the All Blacks on New Zealand soil I thought we should try to help out Cheika too.
This Tuesday I asked the #RugbyChat community to help with what Cheika needed to do to get Australia a win this weekend.
First up I think we can discard the obvious suggestions that came in.
For some everything is fine, but being 0-2 down when England have previously only won 3 games against the Wallabies in Australia, that can’t be true. Remember 2 of those wins were by the 2003 World Cup winning side as well.
So let’s get into what he needs to do.
1 – Better Discipline
Australia actually gave up only 9 penalties compared to England giving up 10. But they appeared to come at key times and be for silly things like pushing a player in the line-out whilst it was being setup. Hearing the ref tell the Wallabies captain to tell his players to stop shouting at him throughout the game meant that 50:50 calls or even ones balanced towards Australia went England’s way.
2 – Take The Points
Australia turned down several opportunities to take the point from penalties and kicked to the corner instead. The pressure of the scoreboard is so important and these decisions really put the pressure onto Australia. Also at the end of the 1st half when they trailed by 3 and had a penalty advantage why didn’t they go for a drop goal? Going in a halftime on an even footing would have changed the whole dynamic of the game.
3 – Scrum
The scrum wasn’t helped by the horrible pitch in Melbourne. However seeing the pitch cut up only on the Wallabies side early on showed they were under pressure. I think that they got away with collapsing the scrum because of that. They really need to add some meat for this weekend which we have seen has happened.
4 – Hope England Don’t Play Well
The defensive performance in Melbourne was heroic. Many people can’t see England being able to do that again. Maybe also the brexit vote will be a distraction to the team who apparently were discussing it a lot during training on Friday.
5 – Play another team
A bit of a long shot but how about rescheduling to play another team? There have ben suggestions that Wales and England should swap as both series are already decided and it would put the top two ranked teams against each other. We’re probably too late in the day but sometimes extreme measures are required.
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