Rugby: Wallabies vow to hit back

By Adrian Warren

The Wallabies are adamant they can return from the outhouse to the penthouse within a week. Photo / Photosport
The Wallabies are adamant they can return from the outhouse to the penthouse within a week. Photo / Photosport

Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey says the team's dire performance in his area can be easily fixed ahead of Saturday's return Rugby Championship clash with the All Blacks in Wellington.

Australia conceded six tries and missed a whopping 38 tackles in last Saturday's 42-8 defeat in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney.

"It was very disappointing and a little bit uncharacteristic, a combination of guys not getting their technique right and also New Zealand carrying very strongly," Grey said.

"The Kiwis stretched us out in terms of down our edges and their offload game really hurt us.

"I think just being more efficient at our tackle is something that we're really going to have to focus on a lot to ensure that we can stop their go forward and hence their offloads."

He was adamant Australia could fix the defensive problems in the space of a week.

"Quite easily," Grey said. "A lot of defence is mental application and that real will and desire to want to get in there and be effective. In terms of training, we're going to be really focusing on that."

Grey made it clear the Wallabies had been stung by the decisive defeat, but were determined rather than daunted by the challenge of trying to beat the All Blacks in Wellington.

"It's certainly going to fuel the fire for the week," Grey said. "We're disappointed, certainly our pride has been damaged. But the great thing about sport is, [coach] Michael [Cheika] said it in the changing room, we've got six days to turn things around and Saturday night can't come quickly enough. We really want to make sure that we can put in a performance that we're proud of."

As the defence coach, Grey admitted he took conceding so many points last Saturday personally. "It's certainly something I pride myself on, in terms of the team and certainly feel disappointed."

- AAP

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