Wednesday’s rugby news has Daryl Gibson calling for physicality against the All Blacks, James Slipper confident about the Wallabies scrum, Melbourne Rebels sign Reece Hodge and Fiji win Pacific Nations Cup.
Physicality Key: Gibson
Waratahs coach and former All Black Daryl Gibson has said that the Wallabies must by physical against the All Blacks this weekend if they are any chance of beating them.
“I think the South Africans showed some of the All Blacks’ vulnerabilities around being very physical and stopping their go forward,” Gibson said.
“We know that the All Blacks are very good with ball in hand, but if you can slow their ruck speed and slow down their attack then you’ve gone a long way in nullifying that strength.
“They’ll need to be physical against the All Blacks and Will’s a big man and I’d imagine he’ll be pretty critical for Australia’s plans to win the game.”
Scrum on Track: Slipper
Wallabies prop James Slipper says that the Wallabies scrum will be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup next month.
The Wallabies scrum has been inconsistent so far this season and they will be expecting a tough challenge playing strong scrummaging teams England and Wales in the Pool stage.
“With Mario coming in – and a lot of players haven’t been working under him as the Tahs have this year – it’s about making sure everyone is on the same page and working to a common goal,” Slipper said.
“It has taken some time to adjust but I feel we have definitely been improving and moving in the right direction … Going to the World Cup, we will be pretty confident.”
Rebels Sign Hodge
The Melbourne Rebels have signed Shute Shield star Reece Hodge for two years.
Hodge has been a stand out for Manly in the Shute Shield competition but has also received attention for his kicking abilities.
Hodge was recently filmed making a kick from 76 metres out at Manly oval with the help of some wind.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to move to Melbourne, and hopefully I’ll be able to repay that faith and continue to enjoy my footy at the same time,” Hodge told the Rebels website.
“I’m looking forward to what the next two years holds … I’m confident in my goal kicking ability if I was called upon, but there’s already some strong goal kickers down there.”
Fiji Win Pacific Nations Cup
Former Waratah Ben Volavola helped Fiji secure the win where they out scored Samoa 5 tries to 3.
The match was close until the 60 minute mark when full-back Kini Murimurivalu went over in the corner for a try converted by Volavola to put Fiji ahead 29-24.
Fiji’s captain Akapusi Qera scored the final try for Fiji with Volavola adding the conversion.
Fiji will meet Australia, Wales and England in Pool A in the Rugby World Cup next month.