England v Australia
Wallabies prepared for England bomb attack
November 25, 2014

The Wallabies are bracing for another aerial assault after they were exposed by Ireland's clever kicking game.

Ireland - led by Johnny Sexton - peppered Australia with 34 kicks in their 26-23 win in Dublin, with many deliberately directed away from Israel Folau to find open spaces. Hence the Wallabies, whose handling under the high ball was better than in previous weeks, have turned their attention to improved communication and positioning at the back with England expected to employ similar tactics in the tour finale at Twickenham this weekend.

"I think there's no secret that teams try to kick away from Izzy because he's such a good catcher of the high ball," said Bernard Foley, who was targeted in his defensive role as a 'second fullback'.

"They targeted that and they probably found us out a couple of times, but it's something we've addressed already this week in our review.

"All the sides we've played this year have used that as part of their arsenal, the high bombs, and you've got to be world class at catching them to counter that. It's about field positioning and varying up your position to try and nullify their kicks and make them do something different."

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Australia have kicked considerably less than their opponents in the three Tests of the end-of-year tour so far, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika's game plan favouring running rugby, and Foley accepted that he and halfback Nick Phipps were still making adjustments to their Super Rugby-winning Waratahs partnership to develop their strategic kicking at international level.

"We've got to develop a game that suits Test rugby," Foley said. "We can't just bring that same game plan that we do at the Waratahs. We've got to run the ball and keep defences guessing there and also kick to our advantage, rather than just kicking on the back foot when we're out of shape. It's definitely something we've got to develop but we're a young side under Michael Cheika and that's sort of all in the pipeline."

© AAP

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