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Welsh tactics on Pocock go unpoliced, says Deans

Date

Greg Growden

Wallabies vs Wales. Allianz Stadium. Action from the game. Click for more photos

Australia complete clean sweep over Wales

Australia edged the third and final Test to take the series 3-0 at Allianz Stadium. Selected Images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com . Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH Photo: Anthony Johnson

ALTHOUGH relieved to enjoy a rare series whitewash, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is concerned his captain David Pocock is being unfairly targeted off the ball, while the Australian scrum is again on roller skates.

The Wallabies return to Super Rugby mode this week after finishing off Wales with a spirited but far from conclusive 20-19 victory at Allianz Stadium in the third Test on Saturday and will not refocus on international football for almost two months.

Until the start of the inaugural Rugby Championship in late August, Deans, who is happy that his squad now know how to win the tight Tests, will be mulling over several nagging dilemmas. The most glaring concern was the lack of stability in the Wallabies' scrum, especially in the second half, but another problem was how Wales successfully mishandled Pocock off the ball, forcing him out of the play on several occasions.

Obstructed ... Wallabies  skipper David Pocock.

Obstructed ... Wallabies skipper David Pocock. Photo: Scott Barbour

Pocock discovered that Wales had found a different way to keep him in check. In open play, he was held back by Welsh forwards or deliberately obstructed, while on one occasion was placed in a headlock, shortly after the ball had left the breakdown, which gave him no chance to get to the next tackle area. This happened on at least three or four occasions. Deans is concerned that if not policed properly other teams will try similar tactics to stifle his standout openside breakaway.

''He's been taken out of the play a lot after the ball has left the area. There is a sense of frustration about that because as nothing has been done about it, it encourages teams to keep doing it,'' Deans said yesterday.

The Welsh tactic didn't exactly quieten Pocock because in yet another excellent captain's performance he vied with Wallabies five-eighth Berrick Barnes and No.8 Wycliff Palu for man-of-the-match honours. There is logic in why Wales would do anything to keep Pocock in check because when he had any freedom in the Test he was devastating at the breakdown, winning possession, and he was one of Australia's most pugnacious tacklers.

"[Pocock] has been taken out of the play a lot" ... Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

"[Pocock] has been taken out of the play a lot" ... Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. Photo: Getty Images

Deans was also pleased that while ''there was a lot happening off the ball, they [the Wallabies] didn't react.''

This helped to put in check an already overflowing penalty count.

Still the Wallabies' biggest area of instability was in the scrum. After making advances earlier in the year, the Wallabies front row found themselves under enormous pressure, as Welsh tight-head Adam Jones destabilised his opposite, Benn Robinson. Referee Craig Joubert penalised the Wallabies' pack four times, while also giving the Welsh three free kicks for a home-town scrummaging indiscretion.

Deans described the team's set-piece as ''dysfunctional''.

''The greatest source of frustration was the first free kick in the game. That was something we've trained for, talked about, but we came up short. And off the back of that it not only lets the referee in, but it also produces hesitation. Then you lose the next hit and all of a sudden you're under the pump. It was disappointing to start the game with a free kick, a decision which was justified,'' Deans said.

''When you consider how dysfunctional our set-piece was, it was a very good effort to win the game.''

Elsewhere, Deans was delighted, in particular, how the squad had matured after the disaster of losing to Scotland in Newcastle.

''It's been particularly rewarding watching this group grow in their ability to actually work their way through those occasions when it gets difficult,'' Deans said.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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