Allan Alaalatoa believes his combination with Taniela Tupou has unearthed the "perfect" recipe for the Wallabies as two of world rugby's premier tighthead props look to dominate their French rivals.
The ACT Brumbies captain started at tighthead prop in Australia's opening Test against France before Tupou's injection reignited the Wallabies pack.
Now Wallabies mentor Dave Rennie could opt to mirror the tactical decision as Australia hunt for an unassailable 2-0 series lead in Melbourne on Tuesday night.
Rennie is also sweating on the fitness of James O'Connor, who is still touch and go with a groin injury, however the rest of his troops have come through unscathed in a six-day turnaround.
Alaalatoa offers Rennie a model of consistency while Tupou can turn on a game on its head when he enters the fray during the second half.
Some wonder if Tupou should start in the No. 3 jersey to make an early impact, but his dominance off the bench looms as a key weapon in the Wallabies arsenal.
"Definitely in terms of the tight five role, whether you're starting or on the bench, you're always looking to dominate that physicality area and also dominate the set piece," Alaalatoa said.
"On Wednesday as we saw it panned out, as a squad we were pretty happy with our scrum but we obviously know there is room to grow.
"The way that game panned out, we were slowly building, and then you have someone like Nela come off the bench and just creates havoc with the way he plays. I thought that was perfect.
"In terms of the tight five, physicality is something we really pride ourselves on.
"You've got to give credit to the finishers with the way they came off the bench and did a solid job for us around that set piece."
Among the finishers were debutants Darcy Swain and Lachie Lonergan, two rising stars Alaalatoa captains at Super Rugby level in Canberra.
The opening Test also marked something of a debut for Wallabies forwards coach and Brumbies mentor Dan McKellar.
Alaalatoa says McKellar's arrival in Wallabies camp has been a major boost in a series against a French outfit which prides itself on dominating the physical battle.
But the 27-year-old concedes there is work to be done at the breakdown while errors threatened to cripple the hosts.
"What that does, especially with that performance on Wednesday, we found a way to win," Alaalatoa said.
"Everyone across the squad was really happy with that, but we knew our performance was far from our best.
"Their forward pack obviously pride themselves on their set piece, their scrum, their maul, and their physicality around the field.
"That was an area we touched on and we knew that especially in the scrum, it's somewhere the French really pride themselves on."
WALLABIES V FRANCE
Second Test: Tuesday - Australia v France at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, 8pm. Broadcast live on Nine and Stan Sport. Tickets from Ticketek.
Third Test: Saturday, July 17 - Australia v France at Lang Park. Broadcast live on Nine and Stan Sport. Tickets from Ticketek.
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