Brisbane - Wallabies wing Dane Haylett-Petty is delighted after making
an impressive return to the Test arena in his side's win over Ireland in
Brisbane on Saturday.
Haylett-Petty played his first Wallabies Test in 10 months
when he started in Brisbane, off an injury-interrupted Super Rugby year, where
he has battled with concussion and a neck issue.
“The concussion only lasted probably two weeks but the neck
definitely lingered probably because I rushed it,” he told the Australian Rugby
Union's official website.
“First tackle back, stirred it up again and tried to play on
though the season with it, but in the end we decided to just take our time with
it and I've been pretty happy with the last couple of games.”
With Reece Hodge and Jack Maddocks impressing for the
Rebels, there was speculation over whether Haylett-Petty would in fact start,
but the 29-year-old repaid the coaches’ faith with an impressive first Test
“I think it was a little quiet down that left edge, so
hopefully if I get to play this weekend again, get a little more ball, but I
was pretty happy,” he said.
“Getting back, I played those two Super Rugby games gave me
some confidence leading into this Test series.”
Though the Wallabies backs didn’t get a whole lot of
opportunity to attack, with limited possession in Brisbane, their defence
looked far improved from that of recent years.
Winger Marika Koroibete epitomised their physicality, with a
try-saving tackle on Jacob Stockdale, one of 11 tackles for the game, a
performance that set the tone for the other backs, Haylett-Petty said.
“I think especially standing at the back, it's pretty good
to watch when guys fly through and hit someone, but definitely passes on
confidence to all the other boys,” he added.
“Samu was really good, Kurtley was really good, but I'm very
lucky to play each and every week with Marika and to watch him chase down
players and chase after ball is pretty special.”
Defence is an area where the Wallabies have been criticised
in recent seasons, particularly against the All Blacks, but Haylett-Petty said
they had developed in that space.
“I think over the years we've changed a few things, but I
think we're quite clear on what we're trying to do now and there's definitely
been some growth and there's a lot of room to keep growing there,” he said.
Haylett-Petty said the Wallabies might be tweaking some
parts of their attack, but he doesn’t expect much change from Ireland in the
“I don't know whether they'll change too much,” he said.
“They've obviously been very successful with the way they've
played 12 in a row.
“They've had a lot of success with the way they've played
and I can't imagine they're just going to go and change everything after one