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Wallabies put their gameplan in the picture

By Duncan Bech

Published 31/10/2015

Not in the script: Mario Ladesma accidentally exposes Australia’s game-plan at Twickenham
Not in the script: Mario Ladesma accidentally exposes Australia’s game-plan at Twickenham

Australia have blundered on the eve of Saturday's World Cup final by accidentally revealing elements of their game-plan for dethroning New Zealand.

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika and his assistant Mario Ledesma gave away the information at the Captain's Run at Twickenham by conspicuously holding pieces of paper carrying details that were intended to remain secret.

Among the instructions to their players are to "expose" wings Nehe Milner-Skudder and Julian Savea under the high ball or in the backfield and "rattle" number eight Kieran Read at restarts.

The notes, which cover both sides of the sheets of paper although only one page is visible, are broken up into different sections that cover kick-offs, defence and attack.

Influential number eight and World Rugby player of the year nominee David Pocock is told to hold off when Australia are taking a kick-off by not targeting All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter - "no Carter rage".

The looming aerial battle at Twickenham - New Zealand's tactical kicking led by Carter is outstanding - is teed up by the words "own the air space, catch everything, chase everything, escort wingers!!!".

Australia's coaches have also poured over their Rugby Championship rivals' attacking game in pursuit of becoming the first nation to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for a third time.

The notes state that Carter runs "right to left", "Nonu steps back on the inside" when defensive line speed is rapid and calls for a "turnover spark in attack and defence".

Meanwhile, Cheika has urged Australia to exit their comfort zone and achieve greatness when they face New Zealand in today's final.

The Australian nation have thrown their weight behind the quest for the sport's richest prize, with the green and gold colours being projected on to the Sydney Opera House accompanied by a call-to-arms of 'Go Wallabies'.

Cheika insists his underdogs are determined to make the country proud knowing that by adding a third World Cup to those won in 1991 and 1999, rugby union would receive a lift in a land where it is fourth in the sporting pecking order.

"We haven't tried to manufacture anything, we've just tried to let things happen," Cheika said.

"You feel the support and have to make sure that you use it to push you on from being just comfortable.

"You can think 'I'm in the final so it's all good', or you can go out and do something great. We don't want to be comfortable.

"As an individual you have to say 'I'm not happy to be comfortable'. It's great that you're enjoying it, but as a player or coach you have to do something.

"One of our goals as a team has been to get our supporters in Australia enjoying the game again.

"That's really important to us and that's genuine, I'm not in the marketing department.

"We want people to feel attached to the team because we've shown them the values they want to be attached to.

"We want to give them something else to be proud of on Saturday night."

Belfast Telegraph

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