It has been derided as anti-rugby and the sport’s most inglorious attacking ploy but the Wallabies are all on board with the rolling maul at the Rugby World Cup.
As Fiji found out last week, the Australians can roll with the best of them when it comes to lineout drives from close range, setting up two near-identical tries for hooker Tolu Latu in the 39-21 win in Sapporo.
“It’s something that we’ve just been building over time but there’s no guarantee we’ll use it in the next game,” Sio told AAP.
“They can plan for it but it’s not always something we go to. It was great to put it all together (against Fiji) and you saw what we can do when we stick to our guns and execute it.”
The Brumbies have turned the rolling maul into an art form in recent years, rewarding Fol au Faingaa with most of his 12 Super Rugby tries this season – a Super Rugby record for a hooker.
Latu said Faingaa, his second cousin, joked with him that he was “stealing all his tries” following the Fiji match.
Australia's Reece Hodge has learned his fate over that tackle on Fiji's Peceli Yato https://t.co/jSLN0VRLZS
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 25, 2019
Arnold said the beauty of a lineout maul was that if it didn’t rumble over the tryline, it often sucked in enough defenders to create opportunities elsewhere.
“We’ve got that up our sleeve this week and obviously when you have that, it opens up different areas of the field as well,” he said.
“If you’ve got a good maul then teams are looking at it and that opens up space around the back.”
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