Cape Town - The Wallabies want to use their improved defence to score
points as well as stop them as they prepare to face England at Twickenham on
Australia has improved in defence in the past two Tests
especially but their attack has left a little to be desired, going tryless
against Wales and leaving a host of chances on the table against Italy.
The Wallabies finished with 20 turnovers for the match, many
of those simple missed passes and knock-ons.
Turning defensive wins into attacking points is a focus for
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, with England presenting a far more complex
equation on both sides of the ball than Wales or Italy have.
“In the attacking side of the game we’ve definitely got
improvements to make, but we’re still showing enough glimmers that we need to
finish,” he told Rugby Australia's official website.
“It’s more about taking the opportunities that we’re
creating, because we are creating some opportunities. Maybe just the wrong
choice here or there but nothing crazy.
“The core of what we’ve been working on after the start of
the season has been trying to get our defence very consistent, and that will be
a huge part of the game next week.
“They’ve got points in them if we give them the room to take
points, so we’ve got to work really hard, get up there and get physical and get
If they can do that, Samu Kerevi’s powerful running will be
a key part of their success, so good he is at making ground in a tackle.
Kerevi has slipped easily back into Test rugby after a
four-month injury layoff and Sunday morning’s win over Italy was another
impressive performance from the 25-year-old.
The centre finished with 100 run metres off 14 carries, and
a casual nine beaten defenders laid in his wake.
He was guilty of some handling errors in attack, though he
was not alone in those mistakes, and more than made up for that with his
potency across the board.
Kerevi’s defence has been as solid as any part of his game
since his return and it’s off that platform that he, and the rest of the
Wallabies, want to be able to mount their attack.
“I always back myself to try and beat that first defender
and hopefully if I am, I'm doing the right things for the team,” he said.
“My performance comes on the back of the team's performance
and for us it's momentum through defence and I felt like when we defended
really well it transitions to attack.
“We've just got the confidence of going up, going up, so for
me hopefully we start the game well in defence or in attack next week and
England's going to be another challenge.”
Kerevi said patience was paying off for the Wallabies in
defence, after their gritty outing against Italy.
“For ourselves, it's just staying in that moment longer in
defensive periods,” he added.
“You really believe in the structure of defence. Greysy's
(defence coach Nathan Grey) has worked really hard for us, worked hard on the
defensive side and it's pretty aggressive so for us it's having that confidence
and getting momentum from that.
“We just trust the whole system.”