Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Wallabies will improve - Ashley-Cooper

01st July 2013 09:42



Quietly confident: Adam Ashley-Cooper

Wallabies centre Adam Ashley-Cooper revealed there is more improvement to come from his side in Saturday's deciding Test against the British and Irish Lions.

The 79-Test veteran scored the only try late in Saturday's gripping 16-15 second Test win over the Lions in Melbourne to level the three-match series.

Ashley-Cooper gave short shrift to suggestions from the Lions camp that the Wallabies had played their grand final in Melbourne.

"I think we've got a lot more in us, I thought the game (on Saturday) wasn't of great standard," Ashley-Cooper told reporters on Monday.

"We made a lot of improvements from game one, but we certainly feel we've got a lot more improvements to make."

The Australians made 15 handling errors to the Lions' seven and conceded 14 penalties, 10 of them at the ruck.

Ashley-Cooper said wings Joe Tomane and Israel Folau could be more dangerous if the Wallabies got more ball to them in the Sydney showdown.

"I think we didn't allow them through our defensive line once," " Ashley-Cooper said.

"I think they had zero line breaks.

"That's a really good stat and a good reflection of how we work defensively. I think for us a lot of improvement can be made in the backs.

"Possession was a bit of a issue. We need to hold onto the ball more.

"We've got too many threats in the back-line to waste, so we're hoping to get the ball into the wider channels this week."

The Waratahs stalwart said he believed the Lions might be feeling the pinch mentally and physically at the end of a long northern hemisphere season but he was unsure whether that would be an advantage to Australia this weekend.

"They've had some physical encounters with all the Australian provincial teams, so no doubt they are feeling it mentally and physically," added Ashley-Cooper.

"But we certainly don't see that as an advantage or a distraction. We've got two games under our belt and we're feeling really confident out of the win on Saturday night."