Nathan Grey: Wallabies are inconsistent in defence

Date published: November 8 2018

Ahead of the Wallabies’ clash with Wales on Saturday, assistant coach Nathan Grey has admitted that they need to be more consistent defensively.

Australia were rock solid in the 2015 World Cup, conceding just 118 points in seven matches. This form saw them reach the final, but they have struggled to replicate it in years since.

While world champions New Zealand have conceded just 17 points per Test since the World Cup, the Wallabies have conceded an average of 27.

According to Grey, the mastermind behind the Wallabies’ defensive displays in 2015, they have fallen short of expectations recently due to a lack of consistency, although they have showcased their ability in bursts.

“There’s snippets of all the matches that we’ve played this year that we can really hang our hat on that defensive performance and say, ‘Okay, that period we’re really good,'” Grey said, as quoted by Rugby.com.au.

“But we all know at this level, you have to get that consistency and that’s something we’re working towards and the players and the coaching staff are really driven to achieving that.”

Despite admitting that Michael Cheika’s side is a work in progress at the moment, Grey insisted that once they get their defence sorted out, they can become a fearsome opponent to face once more.

“That’s the holy grail of coaching – trying to get that consistency and that belief amongst the players, so they go out, execute, no inhibitions and really back themselves and when you’ve got 15, 23 players doing that, you become a really dangerous proposition,” he said.

The Wallabies have lost seven out of 10 Tests this year, but they have also proven their worth as efficient tacklers, improving on last year’s statistics.

Their 91% return in the Brisbane test against Ireland was their best since the June 2016 series opener against England.

“We’re certainly taking steps in the right direction around being able to put opposition under pressure when they’ve got the ball and look to be nice and physical and dominant in that area,” Grey said.

“But certainly, lots of work to do and we’re seeking that consistency.”