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
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album