Wallabies will persist with attack-at-all-costs mindset

Bernard Foley in action for the Wallabies against the Pumas in Perth in September. Photo / Photosport
Bernard Foley in action for the Wallabies against the Pumas in Perth in September. Photo / Photosport

They had 65 per cent of the ball against the All Blacks in the last Bledisloe Test and scored just one try, but Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley has declared that Australia will look to play the same way against the more defensive northern hemisphere teams on their grand slam tour.

While New Zealand absorbed all of the Wallabies' pressure and then pounced in counter-attack, Australia managed to slice open their vice-like defence more frequently than any other side this year and Foley believes they can be more successful capitalising against northern rivals.

With Wales, Scotland, France, Ireland and England sure to target Australia's scrum and lineout and feed off attacking mistakes in their own half, it could be fatal for the Wallabies to try to keep hold of possession instead of kicking for territory.

But Foley says they will live and die by their philosophy to play "Australian rugby".

"Our objective is always to come up with an attack that teams can't handle, and have the persistence to play that game every game, regardless of the opposition," Foley said.

"Credit to the Kiwis, they were able to defend us and scramble well and not allow us to capitalise and convert.

"In Test rugby you've got to capitalise when you've got the momentum. We weren't able to build that scoreboard pressure, so that was disappointing.

"But it's something we will be persisting with in this northern tour.

"We want the hold the ball regardless of the defences we're up against and the strategies they want to use.

"We want to show what Australian rugby is all about; that attacking game.

"Coming up against these different sides who might want to slow the ball down and play set-piece and battle up front, we have to find our opportunities wherever we can get them; off the back of kick receipts, off set-piece.

"We've got to challenge ourselves to be better at set-piece, and off broken play take our opportunities."

Wales is the first assignment, and of all the teams on the schedule they play with the most adventure in attack.

Throw in a closed roof at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, and this makes for an intriguing contest between two sides who want to run the ball.

"They actually want to play a style of rugby that's fast tempo,' Foley said.

"They actually attack quite well. The way they've been coached by [Warren] Gatland and now [Rob] Howley, they're a team that want to play rugby and they're going to challenge us.

"The exciting thing is we always know the conditions at Millennium, it's always a dry track and there won't be much wind so it always makes for a good game.

"Playing five Test matches in five weeks is a massive ask.

"We've had a lot of things this year that have tested our resilience as a team, and the next five weeks will be no different.

"Hopefully the hard work we put in over this time pays off."

The Wallabies' attack has been lacklustre this year compared to their 2015 potency, but the recent display against New Zealand has given Foley reason to be confident they will rediscover their try-scoring mojo on this tour.

"As a backline we're quite young and very fresh in terms of our combinations and experience overall," Foley said.

"It was definitely a challenge, we tried to take small steps. In some games we looked good, in others we had to defend a lot.

"A factor during the [Rugby] Championship was that we probably weren't holding the ball for long enough parents, we had to do a lot of defending.

"We scored some really good tries but probably didn't have that balance in our game.
"It's been a work-on year, a continuation of persistence and resilience, trying to find a way."

- news.com.au

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