Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Wallabies Have to Stand Up to England's Bullying; Will Knows He's a Target for Niggle

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Wallabies Have to Stand Up to England's Bullying; Will Knows He's a Target for Niggle

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Tucker in London

RUGBY UNION: England's bully-boys will push the legal limits to target Will Genia with their niggle and late grappling at Twickenham where the new no-excuses culture of the Wallabies must shine to protect their matchwinner.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika warned there would be no victory unless the Wallabies hurled their own physical statement back at England to protect halves Genia and Bernard Foley from the intimidation aimed at them early tomorrow morning (AEDT).

This was no lame plea for help from Kiwi referee Ben O'Keeffe, but Cheika publicly challenging his troops to rise against English tactics far older than the two-year reign of coaching adversary Eddie Jones.

"They are a very big, powerful team and they'll try to bully us around and wait for us to crack," Cheika

said.

"That's traditionally how the games have gone . . . try to bully us at the scrum, the line-out, the rucks and, with the niggle, try to get into our halfback (Genia) after he passes and the No.10 (Foley) after he passes.

"There is so much footage of that ... and if you get away with it, it's legal isn't it?"

The Chris Robshaw neck lock on Nick Phipps in Melbourne and forcing the then-halfback into a messy shovel pass when a try was conceded in Sydney were typical of the tactics paying off in the ugly 3-0 series loss to England last year.

Training spectator George Gregan agreed a fresh onslaught was coming but backed Genia.

"They'll disrupt and try to take the rhythm out of the Wallabies' attack but I've not seen Will healthier for a long time and he's got his spark," Gregan said.

The Wallabies' style of flat passing in the face of the defence puts creators like Genia, Foley and Kurtley Beale in the firing line for a whack, but Cheika said his remodelled squad had the resilience to cope. …

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