Rugby

Aussies Asking Questions About Irish Tactics Used To Negate Israel Folau

Aussies Asking Questions About Irish Tactics Used To Negate Israel Folau

The hurt which Israel Folau inflicted on Ireland during the first test against Australia in Brisbane was not felt as deeply come Saturday's second test in Melbourne.

Folau's aerial threat was somewhat negated by Irish tactics. Those tactics - the use of Irish players to impede Folau's kick chase - are being questioned by the Wallaby camp.

"I guess it's in our hands, it's something that we have to sit down with the referees and discuss," Australia attack coach Stephen Larkham is quoted as saying by Rugby.com.au.

For us I think it's two-fold - it's one, getting the kicks accurate so our chasers aren't running between two or three guys and then two, obviously bringing it to the referees' attention just to make sure everything is legal.

Larkham does not expect other teams to replicate the tactic.

"I think if I look at some of the escorting lines or blocking lines that Ireland put in on the weekend, they used two or three players and it seemed quite specific that they were out there trying to impede Israel's run.

"When you're starting to put two players in one position, it obviously opens up a lot of space on the field so I'm not too concerned that every other team will copy this because there are certainly downsides to it, but we certainly need clarification before the weekend."

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Larkham also said that prior to Saturday's game, officials had spoken to the Australian team regarding a number of off the ball tackles in the first test. Given that, he found it strange that what he saw as similar instances of play from Ireland were missed by officials during the weekend's game in Melbourne.

Following Ireland's win, Australia head coach Michael Cheika was unhappy with what he called a "king hit" by Cian Healy on Will Genia. The Australia scrum-half will miss the third test due to a broken arm.

"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,” said Larkham.

"They'd identified some issues out of the first game for us, which we addressed through the week.

"They were spot on but I guess, being conscious there as referees then that it happened on both sides of the ball."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: Wales Backrow Sent Off After Putting Argentina Out-Half In Choke Hold

PJ Browne
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