Australia v England, third Test, Saturday, OSN Sports, 11.35am (UAE)
Australia captain Stephen Moore will continue to turn down kicks at goal in favour of going for tries if he thinks it is in the best interests of the team, despite last weekend’s defeat to England.
Australia spurned a series of kickable penalties in the second half in Melbourne on Saturday and paid the price when they failed to breach the English line, running out 23-7 losers to go 2-0 down in the three-Test series.
“All those decisions are made in the context of the game, the coaching team has input into that and we talk about it during the week,” Moore told reporters on Monday.
“In every game you make the decision you think is best for the team and we’re going to keep doing that.”
Defence coach Nathan Grey pointed out that Australia’s only try in Melbourne came from a catch-and-drive after a kick to the corner and said Michael Cheika’s staff would continue to back the on-field leadership.
“Choosing to take those kicks to the corner, you know, we scored a try from a rolling maul, we were able to do that really well,” he said.
“So if we do that and take the points, we’re having a different conversation. It’s just a matter of identifying what to do at the right time in the game and we’ll always back our leaders to make those right decisions.”
England’s victory saw the Six Nations champions leapfrog the Wallabies into second place in the world rankings behind New Zealand.
Australia face England in the third and final Test in Sydney on Saturday and prop James Slipper said avoiding the ignominy of a series whitewash was motivation enough for the Wallabies.
“They’ve come here to do well which they have and what better way to do it than a whitewash for them,” he said.
“For us, obviously our goal is not to let that happen and we’re going out there this weekend to make sure it doesn’t.”
Despite giving up 62 points in the two Tests against England, Moore thought major changes in tactics and personnel would not be required to turn around their fortunes.
“Most people are looking at the big things and I think it’s actually the detail of the game, everyone doing their role really well that makes a difference at this level,” he said.
“It’s just those tiny little things that might have been a little bit off on the weekend that we need to fix up.”
South Africa v Ireland, third Test, Saturday, OSN Sports 7pm
Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw will not be available for the third Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth after injuring knee cartilage in the second match against the Springboks on Saturday, according to media reports.
Henshaw, who will need surgery, picked up the injury in the closing stages of the test at Ellis Park, where South Africa came from 16 points down to beat Ireland 32-26 to level the three-match series 1-1.
Ireland secured their first win over the Springboks in South Africa on June 11 with a 26-20 victory at Newlands.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said he was unlikely to bring in a replacement as he has options within the squad to deal with the loss of Henshaw.
“There are guys on standby so we can go back to them,” Schmidt told Irish media. “To be honest, if we can cover it internally we probably will at this stage.
“It’s pretty difficult to get them up to speed and to get them down here is a bit of a mission even.”
Henshaw, 23, was previously sidelined for six weeks after fracturing his left hand in Connacht’s derby victory over Munster late last year.
Argentina 30 France 19, first Test
Argentina scored three tries including a fine late clincher by lock Guido Petti to beat an experimental France side 30-19 in the first match of a two-Test series in the northwestern city of Tucuman on Sunday.
With the Pumas leading by four, Petti took an offload and raced under the posts before fly-half Nicolas Sanchez converted for a personal tally of 15 points with six minutes remaining.
France had seven new caps in their starting line-up with several players unavailable to coach Guy Noves for the tour party because of French Top 14 semi-final duty this weekend.
Argentina, who beat Italy in Santa Fe last weekend, led 17-10 at half time following tries by wing Manuel Montero and fullback Joaquin Tuculet in the opening half-hour.
France fly-half Jules Plisson drew first blood with a penalty but once Sanchez had levelled the Pumas pulled away to lead 17-3. French debutant hooker Remy Bonfils then closed the gap after he went over in a rolling maul from a lineout.
Argentina, who made two changes from the 30-24 win over Italy including the return of prop Ramiro Herrera from suspension, lost inside centre Juan Martin Hernandez to injury after their opening try.
The second half was mostly a kicking duel between Sanchez and Plisson with France’s stand-in captain putting his side 19-17 ahead in the 53rd minute as Argentina gave away a string of penalties through ill discipline.
The home side were down to 14 men at the time after lock Javier Ortega Desio was sent to the sin bin in the 48th minute.
However, Sanchez put Argentina back in front on the hour with a penalty after foul play by prop Jefferson Poirot, who was also shown the yellow card.
The Pumas fly-half then kicked another penalty to make it 23-19 with 15 minutes remaining and Argentina went on the make it six wins in 11 matches against France in the last decade.
The second test is also scheduled for Tucuman on Saturday.
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