Rugby Championship

Pocock stars in winning Wallabies return over Irish

2018-06-10 14:16
David Pocock (Getty)

Brisbane - Flanker David Pocock said Sunday he never doubted he would be off the pace in his return to international rugby after his dominant performance in the Wallabies' win over Ireland in Brisbane.

Pocock, playing in his first Test in 18 months, scored the match-clinching try in Australia's 18-9 win to end the Six Nations champions' unbeaten 12-Test run on Saturday.

The Wallabies flanker seamlessly picked up where he left off in the wake of his 12-month sabbatical spent mainly in the country of his birth Zimbabwe.

Pocock, 30, was a part of a dynamic back-row performance with skipper Michael Hooper and Caleb Timu that laid the platform for the Wallabies' 11th consecutive home Test win over the Irish stretching back to 1979.

He never doubted his ability to bounce back to his best in the Test arena, despite spending so long away from the Wallabies.

"It's one of those things you don't think too much about," Pocock told reporters.

"You just back yourself and know that if you are doing all your prep, the physical and mental stuff, you'll get back to your best.

"As a rugby player you always want to be chasing that improvement and pushing the boundaries of what you're capable of as a player.

"Most guys certainly don't feel they're at their best -- there's always that little bit more you're trying to get out of yourself."

Pocock was granted temporary leave from Wallabies and Super Rugby duties last year to pursue interests outside of rugby, only returning for the ACT Brumbies this season.

He spent much of his time in Africa focusing on animal conservation, agriculture and embracing his Zimbabwean roots.

"There was a fair bit going on over there; it was certainly a break but you thought about it (rugby) from time to time," he said.

"You think about what an incredible opportunity it is to represent Australia; as an immigrant I'm so grateful of the opportunities I've had.

"To pull on the green and gold... get out there, be at your best and know you're also representing so many people in Zimbabwe that have been part of the journey."

Pocock was at the forefront on the physical battle with the Irish but he is expecting the world's No.2 team to hit back in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.

"Test matches are physical and the games are often won and lost there," he said.

"Ireland are a big side and I thought they were also very physical.

"I'm sure game two is going to be the same."

Inside-centre Kurtley Beale said another week of training would help the Wallabies improve their tactical kicking to further exploit what they see as a way through Ireland's disciplined defence.

"The Irish are one the best defensive teams in the world, so for us to break that and exit well after points was crucial," Beale said Sunday.

"The intention of those kicks last night was good.

"The Irish will come back hungrier and keen, we'll be aware of that, there's a lot of hard work to go, the series isn't over yet."

Read more on:    wallabies  |  david pocock  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Fixtures
Saturday, 24 November 2018
Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium 17:00
Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium 19:20
Saturday, 21 September 2019
New Zealand v South Africa, Yokohama International Stadium 11:45
Saturday, 28 September 2019
South Africa v Namibia, City of Toyota Stadium 11:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Your thoughts on the booing and singing during the All Blacks' haka prior to Tests?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.