Australia could be looking to counter England’s “bodyline” game plan.
In the aftermath of Wallabies 39-28 defeat to England last weekend, some in the Australian media criticised Michael Cheika’s midfield combination. Although Australia scored four tries, their lack of creativity in midfield was highlighted as one of the reasons for their 11 point loss.
Consequently, within hours of the game concluding in Brisbane, calls were made to rush Matt Toomua back from injury, or possibly select Christian Lealiifano or Karmichael Hunt at inside centre.
This would see the Wallabies revert to their more traditional set up, where the likes of Matt Giteau or Kurtley Beale acted as a second playmaker alongside Bernard Foley.
However, it now looks as though Samu Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani will retain their place’s in the Australian midfield for the second, after Stephen Larkham praised the former’s performance.
Samu had a very fine first Test. He carried the ball when he needed to and found some pretty good support lines out there.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Larkham dismissed suggestions that Australia were lacking creativity, and instead demanded that the Wallabies be more clinical when converting line breaks into scores.
You’d like to be confident every week that if you make a line break you score a try but it’s never the case and I think the scramble defence of England was pretty good.
That’s a small focus we’ve got in the backline, to make sure that we are firstly creating line breaks, and doing a better job at trying to convert them to points.
While the combined size and weight of Kerevi and Kuridrani have the potential to trouble any opposition, England were able to move the combined 210 Kg duo around the field when George Ford replaced Luther Burrell early in the first half.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena