The Rugby Club analyses why the Wallabies aren't scoring enough tries

By Sam Bruce
August 12, 2010 Australia must attract more defenders to the breakdown to create space and time out wide if they are to reignite their stuttering attack under the direction of Quade Cooper.
That's the opinion of Fox Sports rugby commentator Greg Martin, who believes the Wallabies backs must be given a better platform by their forwards before they look to go wide.

Too often in Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup loss the Wallabies backs found themselves staring at a perfect All Blacks defensive line, despite enjoying multiple phases of play.

The inability of the Australia backline to find holes in their opposition's defence was evident in the fact their only try came via a 60-metre dash from fullback Kurtley Beale.

"The All Blacks are only committing two people to most breakdowns; they were picking their opportunity before they counter-rucked ... so when Genia gets the ball in his hands he's got 10 guys outside him because it took four of our guys to win the breakdown and they've had 13 defenders," Martin said on Fox Sports program The Rugby Club on Wednesday night.

"The Wallabies had nothing. We had to do something better, whether it's a rolling maul or a pick-and-drive, we didn't have anything ... no firepower, no ammo," the former Wallabies fullback continued.


Martin's comments outline the need for Australia to force more opposition defenders into the breakdown, but as former Wallabies hooker Phil Kearns explained, it's not as simple as it sounds.

"It's easier said than done, if there's just a pile-up at the breakdown it's very difficult to pick and drive, or then you think about the rolling maul ... and that's I think a part of the maturity of this Wallabies side as it starts to come together over the next 12 months," said Kearns, who was capped 67 times for Australia.

But staring down the barrel of another dismal Tri Nations and with the World Cup a little over a year away, the Wallabies are short on time and must find a solution to their attacking woes sooner rather than later.

Wallabies lock Dean Mumm, who has featured in all three of Australia's Tri Nations Tests this year, conceded that while the Wallabies attack was ordinary, not every phase could be used to take the All Blacks on.

"If you get bashed by two or three people and pulled back a couple of metres then it's not really an opportunity to try and play quick and try and run at a set defensive line," Mumm explained.

The Wallabies attack should improve with the return of the suspended Cooper but if the talented fly half doesn't receive the ball beyond the advantage line, he too will find it difficult to cut holes in opposition defensive lines.

Cooper's strength lies is his creativity, which unless given time and space to be used, will suffocated in the same way Matt Giteau was last weekend.

Former Wallabies fly half Mark Ella, making a guest appearance on The Rugby Club, urged Cooper to take command of the Wallabies backline upon his return.

"Quade is an exciting player, most of the things he does on the rugby field are basically done by himself," Ella said.

"The five-eighth is the linchpin of the backline, he needs to actually lead the rest of the guys around and take charge."

Ella made a habit of breaking down opposition defences in his 25-cap career, leading Australia's backline with such skill that is regarded as one of the best No.10s to have worn the green-and-gold jersey.

If the Wallabies forwards can make more inroads around the breakdown, then Aussie fans may well see a little of the Ella magic in the play of Cooper. If not in the Tri Nations, then hopefully in time for the World Cup.,...016959,00.html