Login
Logout
Show scores

Tolu Latu won't be baited

Back

Volatile Tolu Latu won't be baited into another 'dumb' act by All Blacks

The Wallabies have faith that volatile hooker Tolu Latu won’t be baited into another “dumb” act by the All Blacks in their Bledisloe Cup showdown in Perth.

In their Test against New Zealand in Japan late last year Latu fell for an All Blacks sting which resulted in a yellow card.

Kiwi rake Codie Taylor baited the Wallabies replacement in the 66th minute with a push to the shoulder and he responded with a shove to the face.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen bluntly described the Australian’s action as a “dumb” play.

It wasn’t the first or last offence for the Waratahs hooker, who was also suspended for six weeks during the Super Rugby this year for foul play at a ruck.

Video Spacer

And off the field his discipline has been even worse, in June he was convicted of drunk driving after he was found asleep at the wheel at a busy Sydney intersection.

But the 26-year-old has won back a fan in Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who has preferred him to start over Brumbies ace Folau Faingaa, as well Test skipper Michael Hooper.

The captain was asked on Friday whether he thought the All Blacks would target Latu, and thought he would be able to handle it much better if they did.

“I don’t know if they are going to employ that tactic,” Hooper said.

“Tolu has grown as a player and as a person a lot in the last 12 months, and he is playing really good rugby.

“That usually takes away from the other stuff.”

Cheika said that Latu had been training the house down and deserved another chance.

He felt he had also improved his response to calls by referees.

“His attitude has been excellent and against Argentina there was many times where he was on the ball and the ref called him off the ball and he got straight off it,” Cheika said.

“I think that shows he’s starting to understand that he’s got skill but he’s got to know when to use it and when not to.”

– AAP

Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.

Volatile Tolu Latu won't be baited into another 'dumb' act by All Blacks