We dont want to be a side that comes close to the

first_img 4 Comments 12,028 Views ‘We don’t want to be a side that comes close to the world’s best’ Ireland are motivated to make another statement against the Wallabies in Dublin today. Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Australia captain demands ‘best game of the tour’ against land of his fatherLansdowne can go top and the rest of the weekend’s Ulster Bank League action Follow us: the42.ie Nov 26th 2016, 8:00 AM center_img Ireland v Australia, Aviva StadiumKO 5.30pm, RTÉ 2WINS OVER SOUTH Africa, New Zealand and Australia in the same calendar year would have to leave Joe Schmidt and co. pretty happy heading into December.While the 2016 Six Nations saw Ireland underperform and win only two of their five games, they have bounced back well. Another cracking contest awaits at the Aviva. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHOThe series defeat to the Boks in June was a miss, certainly, but they made history with a first-ever victory on South African soil.November so far has been an undeniable success with the historic win over the All Blacks, a brutally competitive second Test against the Kiwis, and nine new caps in total.Today, a clash with the Wallabies [KO 5.30pm] presents an opportunity to finish the year on a high, providing Ireland with confidence heading into the 2017 Six Nations.“A lot’s been said about the victories that we have had, the historical victories, but we want to be as good as we possibly can be,” says Ireland assistant coach Andy Farrell.We ain’t happy with losing any game. We don’t want to be a side that comes close to the world’s best, we want to be as good as we possibly can be.“In that nature, you talk about beating the three Southern Hemisphere giants in the same year – it’s a massive goal for us, it’s something for us to cling on to but we certainly need to be at our best because Australia are a massive threat with ball in hand.“The guys know the challenge and they want to finish the year off on a high, there’s no doubt about that.”With the Wallabies having discovered their best form of the year with wins over Wales, Scotland and France in recent weeks, a thrilling contest awaits at the Aviva Stadium.Late injury doubts over key men Sean O’Brien and Jared Payne won’t have helped Ireland preparations, though they insisted yesterday that there was no distraction involved. Payne watched the captain’s run yesterday. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOO’Brien last weekend underlined that he is one of Ireland’s most important players. A “lower limb tweak” saw him sit out the captain’s run yesterday, however, and there is some concern about his fitness for this fixture.While Josh van der Flier has shown how capable a replacement he is, and Peter O’Mahony is ready to join the matchday squad, O’Brien’s presence would provide Ireland with a major lift.“He gives confidence,” is how Devin Toner put it this week. “Everyone knows that when he gets on the ball, he’s probably going to get over the gain line, which means we can get our rucks quick, we can get two barrels in as quick as we can.“He’s off the cuff, sometimes you don’t really know what’s going to happen. Sometimes, you never know when he’s going to make a break, but he gives you that confidence that when we’re under the cosh, he might get on the ball and steal it.He’s got a lot of strings to his bow and when you know he’s playing it just gives the players around him that confidence to play more.”So Ireland would be relieved to send O’Brien onto the pitch in their starting team today, which they insisted yesterday they were confident would be the case.Payne, meanwhile, is perhaps the key defender in Ireland’s system, with his reads and communication repeatedly helping his team avoid being cut apart on the edge of their frontline.Rory Scannell is on standby in case Payne doesn’t pull through. The Munster man is perhaps the form centre in Ireland this season, but he is uncapped and relatively unfamiliar with Schmidt’s systems.Pairing him with Garry Ringrose from the start would involve some risk, particularly with Paddy Jackson having already replaced the injured Johnny Sexton at out-half, but then there is only one way to find out if these young men are ready. Jackson has a big job on his hands. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHOThe hope for most Ireland supporters is that O’Brien and Payne’s absence for the captain’s run was indeed precautionary and that they will both take to the field fully fit.The Wallabies bring form and real danger to the Aviva Stadium, particularly with their highly-intelligent strike plays from set-piece.Attack coach Stephen Larkham is a rugby genius, so watch out for the opportunities they attempt to create with their clever plays from lineout and scrum.Ireland simply cannot afford lapses of concentration across those first three or four phases of defence from the set-piece, with Larkham and the Wallabies possessing a wide range of power plays – the kind Schmidt has gained some renown for.“I would have coached against Stephen when he was playing for the Brumbies and I was coaching in Auckland with the Blues and I thought he was an unbelievably good player,” says Schmidt. ”I think he’s doing a great job at the moment.”In phase play, the Wallabies operate with a clear 1-3-3-1 shape, ensuring that they always have width in attack. That stretches the defence into errors, while the Wallabies’ tight forwards are good at making decisions on whether to pass or carry in those three-man pods.“Over the last couple of games, what has been right at the front of their game and the reason why I think they’re attacking pretty well is that they’re very direct and playing very physically,” says Ireland’s defence coach Farrell.“They’ve got forwards coming onto the ball and creating quick ball and when you’ve got [Bernard] Foley, [Israel] Folau and [Will] Genia on the back of quick ball then sometimes you’ll be chasing shadows. They’re a threat all over the field. Schmidt keeps his eye on the ball. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO“The forwards like to play ball in hand, they’re comfortable with ball in hand, we’re aware of that and we want to put in our best defensive performance of the autumn on the pitch.”While the Wallabies’ 1-3-3-1 shape allows them to ask demanding questions of the defence, it may also present opportunities for Ireland.The three-man pods naturally involve one ball carrier and just two rucking players. With that in mind, Ireland may take the opportunity to flood certain midfield rucks on the counter, backing themselves to win a turnover through the weight of numbers.That brings risk in terms of the Wallabies’ ability to exploit numbers-up situations out wide, but it’s something to watch in Ireland’s play.Out-half Foley is in a fine vein of form for Michael Chieka’s side, but again there may be opportunities for Ireland to target the 89kg playmaker.He is a brave tackler but his lack of size counts against him at Test level. The Wallabies shift him into the five-metre channel on defensive lineouts.Look out for Ireland attacking that space either on first phase with a front-peel move or perhaps by dragging the Australian defence wide to the opposite side of the the pitch from the lineout and then setting up a one-on-one opportunity against Foley wide on the original side.Scrum-half Genia generally acts as the tailgunner for the Wallabies at the back of the lineout and while he too is a brave defender, Ireland may look for ball-carrying gains over him in that seam between the lineout and backline defence.Foley’s habit of dropping into the backfield after kicking the ball will also have been in Schmidt’s mind this week, and Ireland would be remiss not to look for opportunities to pull him into aerial contests whenever possible. Foley is class in attack but can be exposed defensively. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHOJackson has much responsibility on his shoulders to run both the Ireland attacking shape, which became disjointed last weekend against the All Blacks, and control their kicking game along with Conor Murray.Avoiding Folau – a kick return monster – in the backfield will be important, although his positioning is not always perfect. The Wallabies fullback can sometimes pendulum up into the frontline defence a little early, leaving huge ground for the sweeping Genia to cover, so Ireland will look out for that grass deep in behind the visitors too.Folau is often used in the midfield by the Wallabies in attack, at second or third receiver, something Ireland’s centres will have been made fully aware of.The Wallabies’ frontline defence has grown markedly on this tour, allowing turnover merchant David Pocock to steal ball on the ground. His ability to target the ball itself – rarely leaning his hands or elbows onto the deck, or simply wrapping up the tackled ball carrier’s upper body – is the best in the world.His razor-sharp focus on the ball means that if he gets a sniff of it, it’s a turnover. Ireland’s rucking players must be hyper-aware of his presence and make early interventions whenever possible. Ball carriers must look to force Pocock to tackle.The selection of Dean Mumm on the Wallabies’ blindside flank provides a strong clue as to their intentions at lineout time. Chieka’s pack will compete ferociously on the Irish throw, and will also look to back an in-form maul from close range, with Moore steering the ship.The fascinating tactical elements are everywhere in this match-up, meaning it’s going to take something special from Ireland to achieve that goal of a third win over one of the big three Southern Hemisphere sides in 2016.Ireland:15. Rob Kearney14. Andrew Trimble13. Jared Payne12. Garry Ringrose11. Keith Earls10. Paddy Jackson9. Conor Murray1. Jack McGrath2. Rory Best (captain)3. Tadhg Furlong4. Iain Henderson5. Devin Toner6. CJ Stander7. Sean O’Brien8. Jamie HeaslipReplacements:16. Sean Cronin17. Cian Healy18. Finlay Bealham19. Ultan Dillane20. Josh van der Flier21. Kieran Marmion22. Joey Carbery23. Simon ZeboAustralia:15. Israel Folau14. Dane Haylett-Petty13. Tevita Kuridrani12. Reece Hodge11. Henry Speight10. Bernard Foley9. Will Genia1. Scott Sio2. Stephen Moore (captain)3. Sekope Kepu4. Rory Arnold5. Rob Simmons6. Dean Mumm7. Michael Hooper8. David PocockReplacements:(One player to be omitted) Tolu LatuJames SlipperAllan AlaalatoaKane DouglasLopeti TimaniSean McMahonNick PhippsQuade CooperSefanaia NaivaluReferee: Jérôme Garcès [FFR].The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! By Murray Kinsella Share10 Tweet Email Saturday 26 Nov 2016, 8:00 AM http://the42.ie/3103126 last_img