VIDEO: Ireland forged plan for Wallabies' aerial assault
JUNE SPOTLIGHT: Ireland’s defeat to Australia has forced the Grand Slam winners to review their aerial prowess ahead of the Melbourne Test.
Wallabies’ kicking game was a vital component in the 18-9 win over Ireland. With the likes of lethal Israel Folau and Dane Haylett-Petty in the back three, the hosts caused huge problems with a number of effective cross-kicks.
Dane Haylett-Petty has warned Ireland that they can surely expect another aerial assault in Melbourne.
Something Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell is keen to address, with the first objective being to find a way to limit Folau’s aerial influence.
“They had a plan and it was a great plan and they backed themselves with it,” Farrell told reporters.
“Is it a 50/50 when the ball is in the air with [Falou]? Probably not, he is so good at it,”
“We let him [Foloau] dominate the space even more so than we should have. He had it a little bit too much his own way.
“Like I said, is it a 50/50, probably not, but we’ve got to make sure we’re around for the scraps if not,”
Farrell has given a positive update on Keith Earls: “At this stage all good,”
The Munster wing is the only injury doubt for Saturday and is undergoing the graduated return to play protocols following his HIA.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s very own talisman Johnny Sexton is also set to make a return to the starting XV.
Sexton was on the bench for the first Test, with Joey Carbery given his first start since the November internationals against Fiji.
The 32-year-old admitted playing from the bench for the national side it’s an unusual phenomenon.
“It’s not something I’ve been used to with Ireland,” Sexton said.
“I’ve done it a couple of times with Leinster but that’s why you want to start. It’s all about starting for everyone, you want to get that starting place.
“It’s not something I’ve done in a long, long time with Ireland, so it needed a bit of getting used to. Running Australia plays all last week and then it’s almost like a different type of game when you’re on the bench.
“You’ve got a lot of nervous energy and you’re trying to figure out what moves we’ve played so you can play something different when you come on, so you’re sort of sitting there scratching moves off.”
The defeat snapped a 12-game winning run for Joe Schmidt’s side, while players such as James Ryan and Bundee Aki suffered their first ever international defeats.
“You learn a lot when you lose. We try and learn through winning and something we did quite well during the Six Nations.
“We improved even when we were winning, which is the sign of a good team, and now we’ve got to bounce back, we’ve got to show a reaction, and perform a hell of a lot better than we did last week.
“We’re very performance driven and I think if we had sneaked a win on Saturday the review would have still been the same,”
“[Knowing Micheal Cheika], I am sure they will bring the same intensity this week. Michael is a pretty relentless character and he is will demand the same of them this week,”
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