By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Australia will practise their drop goal plays this week ahead of the second Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand, having eschewed the chance of a match-winning kick in Wellington, scrumhalf Nic White said on Tuesday.
With the score locked 16-16 late in Sunday’s opener, neither side attempted a kick for victory though both had chances deep in attack.
White said the Wallabies would be ready to “pull the trigger” if required at Eden Park on Sunday.
“We actually did work on that before the game last week and we’re pretty comfortable, we spoke about that,” White told reporters.
“There’s plenty of areas in that game we’re a little bit frustrated (about) and that we can grow as a team — and that’s certainly one of them.
“There were a lot of positives about where we ended up but we can also pull the trigger with it.
“Hopefully it doesn’t come down to that but if it does we’ll be prepared and we’ll be ready.”
Wellington added another chapter to the Wallabies’ history of spurning drop goals against the All Blacks.
In 2014, they missed out on a first win in three years over their trans-Tasman rivals when they drew 12-12 in a Sydney rainstorm, having ignored a drop goal chance offered by an attacking scrum.
That came after an 18-18 draw in Brisbane in 2012 when Kurtley Beale failed to kick at goal from open play in the final minutes.
Even if well-drilled, the Wallabies’ winless record at Eden Park since 1986 suggests they might be lucky to be in a position to seal victory with a drop goal.
Michael Cheika’s Wallabies were smashed 36-0 there last year, a week after beating the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth.
White said the home side tended to hit back strongly at Eden Park if challenged in a previous match.
“I think the All Blacks will lift to another level,” he said.
“There’s going to be a reaction from them … I think this is a new (Wallabies) group and we’re trying to talk about the reaction we want to get out of the game.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing Peter Rutherford)
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