Sunday 17 December 2017

Edwards demands mean defence

Shaun Edwards has set Wales a target of restricting Australia to fewer than 18 points in order to stay in the three-match series at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium today.

The Wallabies scored three tries -- as many as Wales had conceded in five games in their Grand Slam campaign -- in their 27-19 win in the first Test in Brisbane, and defence coach Edwards wants his side to tighten up at the back.

"It is difficult to keep a Tri-Nations team to less than 20 points, but if we can keep them between 15-18 we will be in with a chance of winning the game," he said.

Caretaker coach Rob Howley has made four changes to his side from the first Test, bringing in Matthew Rees, Alun-Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones and Ashley Beck, while Australia have given a vote of confidence to the team that won last weekend.

Australia -- A Ashley Cooper; C Vuna, R Horne, P McCabe, D Ioane; B Barnes, W Genia; B Robinson, T Polota Nau, S Kepu, R Simmons, N Sharpe, S Higginbotham, D Pocock, W Palu. Reps: S Moore, B Alexander, D Dennis, M Hooper, N White, A Fainga'a, M Harris.

Wales -- L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, J Davies, A Beck, G North; R Priestland, M Phillips; G Jenkins, M Rees, A Jones; B Davies, A-W Jones; D Lydiate, S Warburton (capt), R Jones. Reps: R Hibbard, P James, L Charteris, J Tipuric, R Webb, J Hook, S Williams.

Ref --C Pollock (New Zealand)

Australia v Wales,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 11.0

Irish Independent

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