Wallabies can beat England with 'bigger hit, more often' - Michael Hooper
Australia are targeting gainline domination in Saturday's second Test as they look to equal the series but flanker Michael Hooper says the Wallabies were not surprised by anything England threw at them in Brisbane.
Hooper was left with mixed emotions after their defeat in the first Test. On a personal level he managed to score twice and was impressed by their intensity in the opening 20 minutes but was left bemused by how they dropped off and allowed England back into the game.
Michael Cheika has responded by asking more from his pack, one which shows three changes from the first Test, and Hooper has responded by agreeing they need to assert more dominance in the gainline and make "bigger hits, more often" in defence.
There is no shortage of confidence in the Australia camp; although England won by 11 points in Brisbane, Hooper says the Wallabies were not overwhelmed at any stage."Their [England's] ability to expose our weaknesses was good like going into the last couple of minutes there with two tries, their two tries coming off getting good pressure on us for the duration of the game," Hooper said. "I wouldn't say they threw anything at us that blew us away so for us it's about being able to control our stuff better which has been our focus this week which is what we need to do to get more that really good stuff from the first game."
Despite not being blown away by England, Hooper was left impressed by James Haskell and is relishing the chance to face their back-row again this weekend in what he predicts will be an atmosphere akin to a "zoo" in Melbourne. "I'm really excited to play in this Test. From Saturday night, I would've played on Sunday to get straight back into it, rip straight back in and go again against these guys. It's sport, we were put under the pump.
England played a good game, got on top of us last week and we need to get it done, to square up the series."The pressure is on us but that's where we are. We are excited to get out there for another 80 minutes to roll with these guys as we can give so much more."
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