Wales aiming to catch Wallabies in their own 22

Edwards wants players to push Aussies back and for referee to police the breakdown

Never one to feel compelled to put a brave face on anything, the Wales defence coach, Shaun Edwards, was in typically pugnacious mood as he faced the press before today's Second Test against Australia.

The Grand Slam winners went into the first match, in Brisbane last week, more fancied than ever to beat a Tri-Nations team away from home for the first time. They came out of it on the back of a chastening 27-19 defeat which was also by three tries to one.

"We are going to get up to the pace of the game a bit more," Edwards said. "[The captain and openside flanker] Sam Warburton will have a little bit more confidence under his belt having played his first game in 11 weeks and it should be a little bit cooler in Melbourne than it was in Brisbane.

"It is difficult to keep a Tri-Nations team to less than 20 points, but if we can keep them between 15 and 18 we will be in with a chance of winning the game."

Edwards's typical bullishness was, of course, tempered with a sharp dose of realism.

He said: "One of the things we have to improve on is our field position and we have to win the collisions in and around the breakdown area, which we had trouble in doing in the first half last week. We spent between six and seven minutes in our own 22 and only two and a half minutes in theirs. Against a team as good as Australia in offence you don't want to be chalking up statistics like that.

"It was a pretty special performance from [the Wallaby scrum-half] Will Genia last week and, hopefully, we will do a better job on him this week. I do feel we need to defend stronger around the rucks and we can't allow him to rule the roost as he did last week."

Genia, who is also a realistic sort, agreed with Edwards. "I'll just go out and do my job as best I can," the scrum-half said. "If there is any extra attention, I'll just have to deal with it. I'll just ship it early then look to run. If there's a little more attention close to the ruck, then there'll be space elsewhere."

That dealt with, Edwards moved on to complete the spotter's guide to international coaches' pre-match comments with an expression of concern over refereeing. Craig Joubert of South Africa, the 2011 World Cup final official, refereed last week's match; Chris Pollock of New Zealand will be in charge today.

"I expect the referee to be a little bit more vigilant about the tackler rolling away at the breakdown this week," Edwards said. "Some of the breakdown skills Australia showed last week were very good, but there were other times when some of their players could have been penalised for exiting the ruck on the wrong side."

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Australia coach, Robbie Deans, was a little more equivocal on the issue.

"It's a hotly contested area," the New Zealander said. "It is an important area and a challenging one for [all] parties because it is so dynamic. I couldn't do a fraction of what these players do. I don't think it's adjudicated any differently across the globe. It's pretty uniform. One of our limitations is we can only see one thing once, as a rule, so it often depends which particular group you are aligned to as to what you are looking at."

If there was a grain or two of slightly gnomic truth in those remarks, Genia illustrated the vitality, controversy and impenetrability of the breakdown when he said: "I think an area where [Wales] will target us is probably our breakdown. They'll look to slow the ball down a little bit so that we don't get the momentum we had last week."

That would be precisely what Edwards was complaining about Australia doing. Complicated.

In the rather more understand-able sphere of selection, Wales's caretaker coach, Rob Howley, has made four changes to his side, bringing in 181 caps into the pack in the shape of three Lions – the hooker Matthew Rees, lock Alun Wyn Jones and back-rower Ryan Jones. Australia have given a vote of confidence to the team that won last weekend.

Edwards said: "There is no problem in getting the players up for this game. The players are very, very motivated and some of them feel they can play better than they did last week. At 20-19 in Brisbane we had a five-to-two overlap and had we scored then the result could have been different. That is what Test football is all about – taking your chances.

"We made six line breaks and scored once, while they made six and scored three times. It is something we have to change around. We created a lot of chances and hopefully we will do the same this week."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project