Rugby | Wallabies must be smarter – Fardy

Melbourne – Flank Scott Fardy says the Wallabies are looking to quickly learn their lessons from England’s commanding first Test win as they battle to save the series in Melbourne this weekend.

England rocked second-ranked Australia with a well-executed 39-28 victory in the Brisbane series opener on Saturday, leaving the Wallabies needing to win the remaining two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney to claim the series.

England, unbeaten under Australian coach Eddie Jones, posted only their fourth win in 18 Tests in Australia with their victory in Brisbane.

Australia coach Michael Cheika is confident he has picked up enough positives out of the defeat to level the series, despite losing star forward David Pocock with an eye injury for the remaining Tests.

Blindside-flank Fardy concedes the Wallabies must improve, particularly across the backrow where England duo James Haskell and Maro Itoje were outstanding in the physical encounters.

“In that first half they took a couple of key turnovers when we were down in attack,” Fardy told reporters on Monday.

“Obviously Haskell did a great job and had a good game.

“We’ve just got to make sure it’s a whole 15-man thing. That we’re strong in our cleanouts and to the ball quickly because England got over the ball very well.

“I thought it was a pretty run of the mill performance from the (Australian) backrow, but I think we could be better.”

Fardy said discipline will be another major factor to rectify after the Wallabies conceded 15 penalties and failed to adapt quickly enough to French referee Romain Poite’s rule interpretations at the breakdown and scrum.

“That’s what got England the game, six penalties they kicked,” he said.

“When you score four tries to two before the 79th minute and you’re still behind, it’s a disappointing thing.”

Scrumhalf Nick Phipps said the Wallabies will need to kick more as a counter to England’s fast-moving defensive line.

“We’ve definitely identified that we know that we’ve got to be a bit better at relieving pressure,” Phipps told reporters.

“There were probably opportunities in the game where we backed ourselves to use our feet a bit more than the ball in the air.”

Australia and England will name their teams for the second Test on Thursday.

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