Wallabies scrum demands WC domination

The Wallabies scrum resurgence was made even more special because it came at a ground where they’ve suffered so much humiliation, according to vice-captain Michael Hooper.


His back-row partner-in-crime David Pocock, meanwhile, said it was important that Australia’s scrum prepared for a “totally different set of threats” to be posed by Wales.

But for Hooper, who packed into the Wallabies scrum at Twickenham 11 months ago, it was hard to hide his joy at the improvement shown this year under scrum doctor Mario Ledesma.

The Australian pack which was bullied by England on last year’s spring tour included six members of the Wallabies’ victorious team on Saturday night.

Sekope Kepu and James Slipper were the starting props last year, while Hooper shared the back-row with Ben McCalman and lock Rob Simmons is another to have survived from that team.

“It was particularly pleasing considering the last time we were here we really struggled,” said Hooper, who also challenged the pack to produce that level of domination for the remainder of the tournament.

“The guys have done a great job in turning that around.

“They’ve copped a lot of criticism and it’s been a really tough ten months for them, working hard against each other week in, week out.

“To get a good performance is great and really pleasing for them to get some hard work to pay off there.

“But now they’ve set that benchmark for themselves they’ve got to keep that going.

“We want to get used to them playing like that and it starts again this week when we train against each other.”

Pocock, whose incredible ball-hunting ability again proved valuable in the win over England, said Wales would present a different set of problems to solve.

“You don’t want to get too carried away on one performance and there’s still plenty to go,” he said.

“I think the Welsh have a totally different set of threats there with the back row that they have.

“Their back row is pretty good on the ball so that’s obviously a focus for us.

“I feel they got some pretty good play against England. Taulupe Faletau is big and strong.

“He gets around, he’s a good ball carrier, solid in defence, everything you want from a No.8.”