The Wallabies have endured a major blowout on the eve of the Rugby World Cup final, revealing tactics to target Kieran Read and pressure the All Blacks wings.
A picture was captured at Twickenham on Friday which featured plans to “rattle” Read and target Julian Savea and Nehe Milner-Skudder.
The Daily Mail has run a story with a picture said to contain game plans which included defensive, attacking and kickoff strategies. Wallabies coaches Michael Cheika and Mario Ledesma were captured waving the tactics around during the 15 minutes media are allowed to view the team train at the match-day venue.
Read has endured a difficult time of it with his handling at the World Cup and, if the tactics are to be believed, it seems the Wallabies plan to put extra pressure on him from the kickoffs.
Savea and Milner-Skudder were also given special mention on the sheets of paper with the intention to target them under the high-ball and in the backfield through tactical kicking.
Dan Carter was also singled out on defence for “running right to left”.
Former All Blacks coach Graham Henry had a similar experience when an Australian photographer from Getty Images snapped him holding tactical notes, which revealed lineout and scrum moves, in the lead up to a Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne in 2010.
That didn’t help the Wallabies, who lost that test 49-28, and the All Blacks are unlikely to pay too much attention to snippets of Cheika’s masterplan.
Only half an hour earlier, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen spoke about how he expected the final to play out and whether it would be an expansive game.
“Tradition is a great thing as long as it doesn’t get in the way of progress so let’s hope we get a bit of progress. You’ve got two sides that are like-minded. They want to play footy. The pressure will be on both teams, there’s no doubt about that. But I don’t think that’ll inhibit either one of them,” Hansen said.
“Time and time again we’ve seen Australia play to their strengths and we always seem to play to ours. Given the conditions are OK I think we’ll see some running rugby. Whether that results in a lot of tries it will depend on how good the defence is.”
WHAT THE WALLABIES NOTES SAY
* Kickoff #5 and keep Poey [David Pocock] back (no Carter rage) (high as possible)
* Kickoff receipt #4 Kieran Read (get him rattled)
* Kick receipt shift off edge, forwards then snap to Snow or play
* Own the air space, catch everything, chace everything, escort wingers!!!
* Carter running right to left
* Nonu steps back on the inside when linespeed against
* Badge defence (Wednesday morning)
* Turnover spark in attack and defence
* Lineout attack gainline front foot speed. Expose Milner-Skudder and Savea under ball or in backfield
* … with ball in hand, keep finding our shap. (Turnover kick long if space, or maintain…
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