Australia vs Ireland: Wallabies want answers over Ireland’s blocking tactics Australia v Ireland: Five Ireland
IRELAND successfully negated Israel Folau’s aerial threat last weekend, but were their tactics legal? The Wallabies want answers before Saturday’s series decider
THE Wallabies want answers from officials about whether Ireland’s “blocking lines” preventing Israel Folau a clean run to catch high balls is legal heading into Saturday’s series decider.
Ireland squared the three-Test encounter 1-1 by winning in Melbourne last weekend, shutting down Folau’s aerial threat by impeding his runs for attacking high kicks.
Folau often found things in his way. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Folau often found things in his way. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
“If I look at some of the escorting lines or blocking lines that Ireland put in on the weekend, they used two or three player and it seemed quite specific that they were out there trying to impede Israel’s run,” Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham said.
“So when you’re starting to put two players in one position it obviously opens up space elsewhere on the field, so I’m not too concerned.”
The Wallabies have to figure out what to do. (AFP Photo)
The Wallabies have to figure out what to do. (AFP Photo)Source:AFP
Larkham said Ireland’s tactics would be raised at their meeting with the referees before Saturday’s finale at Allianz Stadium.
“It’s in our head so it’s something we’re going to have to sit down with the referees and discuss, they might have a different opinion,” Larkham said.
“Every team in world rugby uses it, every team in Super Rugby uses it as well.
“But for us it’s one; getting the kicks accurate so our chasers aren’t running between two or three guys, and then two; bringing it to the referee’s attention just to make sure everything is legal there.”
Will Genia was forced off the field (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Will Genia was forced off the field (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The Wallabies are also unhappy after they were warned prior to the Melbourne Test about taking players out off the ball, only to have star halfback Will Genia hit behind play by Cian Healy and suffer a broken arm that sidelines him until August.
“There was a particular reference to that before the game from the referees towards us, so it was a little bit disappointing that the referees as a group of four missed some of the off-the-ball stuff which was quite significant,” Larkham said.
The third game will be a fascinating encounter. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
The third game will be a fascinating encounter. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
“They’d identified some issues out of the first game for us, which we’d addressed through the week. They were spot on, but I guess being conscious there as referees then that it happened both sides of the ball.
“We can’t do anything [about the Genia incident], it’s out of our hands. It’s a matter of talking to the referees and making sure they’re working collectively as a group of four and doing a better job in that area.”
After winning 18-9 in Brisbane, the Wallabies lost 26-21 last weekend, which was Ireland’s first win on Australian soil since 1979.
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Ireland curtail Folau threat
“Ireland did a fantastic job slowing the ball down, and again you look at their tactics and say ‘Is it something we need to bring up with the referee?’” Larkham said.
“That mentality of us sitting in front is one we’ve got to get comfortable with, now we’re sort of coming from behind again because we’ve lost that game.
“I expect there will be really good fight in the team this week, it’s really good preparation for the World Cup isn’t it? Coming up against the second best team in the world, with their strongest team on the paddock, we’re going to make a few changes this week, it’ll be really good to see the resolve of the guys.”