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Wallabies ask ref to look at All Blacks lineout

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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The Wallabies have fired off a reminder to New Zealand referee Brendon Pickerill to keep the All Blacks‘ lineout in check at lineout time in Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup return bout in Auckland.


The All Blacks conceded 18 penalties to Australia’s nine in last Saturday’s series-opening 33-25 victory, prompting Wallabies assistant coach Matt Taylor to declare “they’re a team that probably pushes the boundaries”.

“They’re right on the edge and sometimes that can be an advantage but they were certainly penalised heavily,” Taylor said on Wednesday.

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All Black Dalton Papalii looks ahead to the second Bledisloe Cup clash
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All Black Dalton Papalii looks ahead to the second Bledisloe Cup clash

The All Blacks have placed a big focus this week in improving their discipline and Taylor was happy to send a subtle plea to Pickerill to ensure the hosts didn’t infringe at the lineout, after the Wallabies lost their first five throws last start.

Knowing the Wallabies have little chance of winning without an even share of ball, Taylor said resolving their set-piece troubles, and not allowing their opponents to hustle illegally for possession, is critical.

“The All Blacks are very good defensively (at the lineout). They mirror hard so we probably need to show different pictures,” he said.

“Like all lineouts, we need to execute quickly. Don’t give the opposition time.


“They’re very good at reading cues, which they did early on in the game.

“Certainly after the first couple of lineouts Australia had a little bit more success, but early on we just allowed them a little bit of time to read the shapes and get up and contest.

“You’re also expecting the referee to ensure that they have a good gap because they’re pretty good at closing that gap on occasions as well.”

Taylor’s message to officials comes after Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese tried some old-fashioned psychology to apply pressure on the All Blacks, who have won the past 21 trans-Tasman Tests at Eden Park.


“If anything, the pressure ‘s not on us, the pressure’s on them,” Uelese said.

“No one wants to be the first All Blacks team to lose at Eden Park.”

Taylor insists the ground holds no fears for the new-era Wallabies, despite the history.

“When it was decided that there were going to be two matches at Eden Park, we saw it as an opportunity,” Australia’s defence coach said.

“It’s a tough place to go but we also said that we had to win one Test there to ensure we were in the hunt to win the Bledisloe.

“So the same thing this weekend, we get to go there and have another crack… When you’ve got a team as good as the Blacks, to beat them, you’ve got to take the game away from them.”


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