Wallabies believe in both sides of Bledisloe coin

first_imgKurtley Beale and Samu Kerevi add some X-Factor, while the inclusion of debutant Curtis Rona on the wing with Henry Speight brings more finishing ability, but it’s the other side of the coin that has hurt the Wallabies in the past.The Wallabies missed 38 tackles in last year’s Bledisloe opener, conceding 42 points in the process.Since then, defence coach Nathan Grey has become a full-time Wallabies assistant and Cheika was adamant those issues had been sorted out.“We’ve been working hard on that area,” he said.“Last year, when I look at that game, I still believe that I over-trained them in the lead-up.“I think that, because I was stressed about their fitness, that’s a mistake we haven’t made this year.“We’ve worked really hard on the D because we know it’s got to be a very important part of the game because of how potent they are in attack and we’ll take a few risks sometimes to get the outcome we want but I believe we’re well-prepared in that area.”The All Blacks reshuffled backline will test their defence, with Cheika acutely aware of the threat new fullback Damian McKenzie poses in his first start.“I think we’ve seen in Super Rugby the threat Damian McKenzie poses – You leave him a metre either side to run and he’ll kill you,” he said.“I think for us, considering our situation, all our focus has been on ourselves and getting our team travelling at the right speed and also prepared with everyone clear in their role to go out there and do the job on Saturday night.”The British and Irish Lions showed a defensive blueprint that proved successful against the All Blacks, rushing out of the line and cruelling the All Blacks’ space.While Cheika took note of that, he said they wouldn’t be cutting and pasting the Lions’ tactics, two months on from that series.“You’ve got to look at what we’ve got, how our players play and what they can do and what they can’t do and go to our strengths and play to that,” he said.“I wouldn’t be looking to copy what they did.“Obviously, you watch the games like you do any and try to make some analysis out of it of what you might be able to pick up from there in the opponent but I wouldn’t be looking to copy anything from them straight up.”The final quarter of the game could prove crucial and the Wallabies have a bench with plenty of experience, in the likes of Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu and Rob Simmons, an element that hasn’t been so common in a year of transition.Cheika has felt the full spectrum of Bledisloe results at ANZ Stadium and says the side certainly understands the gravity of the task ahead of them.“2015 we were able to have a win and we felt the high and how important that was to the game and how good it felt and then in 2’16 we suffered the reverser result and felt the other end of that, of how important the game is,” he said.“There’s absolutely no doubt that it’s a huge match, huge match for our fans and we’ll certainly want to go out there and make them proud on Saturday night.”last_img read more

Men’s Golf Returns to Iowa for Hawkeye Invite

first_imgStory Links Drake was led by senior Drew Ison and sophomore Kyle MacDonald who posted top-30 finishes. Ison finished just one over par at 217 (73-70-74) in 17th-place, while MacDonald tied for 28th with a total of 219. The 54-hole event is set to feature 13 teams including in-state rivals host Iowa and Iowa State along with Kansas, Kansas State, Marquette, Minnesota, Michigan State, Nebraska, South Dakota State and UMKC. The Bulldogs took 11th earlier this week at the Tiger Invitational in Columbia, Mo. after posting a second round score of 289, one of the best rounds of the day. DES MOINES, Iowa — The Drake University men’s golf team is set for its final tune-up before the MVC Championship at the Hawkeye Invitational April 13-14 in Iowa City, Iowa. Live Results The Bulldogs will travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo. for the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on April 23-24.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more