Rugby Championship

Will Genia not underestimating Ireland again

2018-06-05 13:51
Will Genia (Getty)

Cape Town - Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia says he won't make the same mistake twice by underestimating Ireland again ahead of the three-Test series which kicks off on Saturday. 

In a 2011 Rugby World Cup pool match at Eden Park, Australia had been billed as clear favourites but on that day the Irish recorded a massive upset that would ultimately set the Wallabies on a collision course with the All Blacks in the semi-final where they fell. 

And Genia admits on that day the Wallabies were punished for their complacency as they were upset by an underdog Irish side. 

“When I look back on that game, we probably underestimated them,” Genia told BBC Sport. 

“That was probably disrespectful and they taught us a lesson which was good for us. Coming into this game, we cannot underestimate them at all.” 

Genia is one of four remaining from that 2011 side and has pinpointed the strength of the Irish half-back combination as crucial to their success. 

“They are obviously number two in the world but more than that, just the level of rugby they have been playing,” the 30-year-old added. 

“It is all about attrition with them. They are good at retaining possession but aside from that, you have got (flyhalf Jonny) Sexton who can sit back in the pocket, you have Conor Murray, whose box kicking puts pressure on you in that sense. 

“They have got a pretty good game but more than anything, they really understand their game plan, and execute it really well.” 

Genia is set to be named in Michael Cheika's starting line-up for Saturday's Test with Ireland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane despite having missed the last month of Super Rugby with a knee injury. 

“We’ve had a good couple of weeks just running, running and running,” he said. “Now it’s just about getting the footy down, finding some rhythm and getting good to go on Saturday."

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