Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Rugby-Australia close to getting balance right says McKenzie

Reuters

By Conor Humphries

DUBLIN, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Australia's four-try demolition of Ireland shows the team are finally getting the balance right after a string of bad results, coach Ewen McKenzie said after they posted successive victories for the first time in his tenure.

The Wallabies, who suffered three heavy defeats to the All Blacks and two to the Springboks in the southern hemisphere test season and lost to England two weeks ago bounced back with an incisive 32-15 victory in Dublin on Saturday.

"There's a whole bunch of different players, I'm new ... and you've got to be able to marry that into something where people have confidence," said McKenzie who took the reins in July after Robbie Deans quit following the 2-1 defeat to the British and Irish Lions.

"We're getting closer to getting that balance right."

Two tries from flanker Michael Hooper and one each for Nick Cummins and Quade Cooper saw the Wallabies build on last week's 50-20 victory over Italy.

"We got confident through the game that we could score the tries," McKenzie said.

"In a tough game ... to go four tries to nil was outstanding."

The team, he said, showed its character by holding back a wave of Irish attacks after Tevita Kuridrani was sent off for a dangerous tackle in the 72nd minute, proving they could close out tough games in a way they failed to do against England.

"I think that's the most complete performance yet," said captain Ben Mowen. "We were really well balanced in terms of defence and attack,"

"It's little things like a ball on the ground and three Wallabies' jerseys diving at it. The desperation is there."

Despite the win, Australia will not be taking a win against Scotland next week for granted, said McKenzie.

"We haven't had a great record in Scotland, so we have a bit of a challenge, which is good," he said. "We need to be able to test ourselves and show we are improving."

While McKenzie is putting a gloss on a bad season, new Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is struggling to reinvent the side after a dismal Six Nations.

After an easy home win over Samoa in Schmidt's first game, the former Leinster coach said his team gave the Wallabies far too much space and needed to drastically improve their kicking.

"We want a progression week to week and we didn't see that today," he said while adding they had a lot to do to produce a creditable performance against the All Blacks next week - a match for which they could be without flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who suffered a hamstring injury.

"I can assure you there will be some intensity on Sunday," he said. "That is all we can assure people of."

View Comments (0)