Wallabies defensive coach Nathan Grey confident he possesses the blueprint to halt All Blacks attacking dominance

  • 22/08/2017

Besieged Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey insists he is the right man for the job and believes his blueprint will work once players execute it correctly.

Grey is again under fierce scrutiny from angry Australian rugby supporters following Saturday's horrific 54-34 defeat, which has put New Zealand on track for a 15th straight year of Bledisloe Cup domination.

Australia missed an incredible 48 tackles and conceded more points than they ever have against the All Blacks, who cut through Grey's defensive structure at will to lead 54-6 shortly after halftime.

Grey admitted it wasn't good enough but said he was "very confident" he and the rest of the coaching staff would turn things around.

"It stings, mate. It's not great. It's difficult," said Grey, now a full-time assistant to head coach Michael Cheika after recently stepping down from his defence post with the NSW Waratahs.

"It is something we have to address and we are focused on looking for those solutions.

"We believe we have got them in terms of staying in the system and executing our tackle technique and doing that consistently."

Grey notoriously said Australia's defensive problems would be "an easy fix" after last year's eerily similar 42-8 belting at the hands of the All Blacks.

Not much appears to have changed, with the Wallabies conceding an average of 28 points in their last 19 Tests.

Players appear confused or hesitant and regularly shuffle positions, leading to defensive disarray in key combinations.

"Executing that under the heat of the battle is something we have to be better at and as coaches we are working at that constantly," Grey said.

Grey's tactics were also found wanting in Super Rugby this year, as the Waratahs posted their worst defensive season on record.

It's a far cry from when Grey first joined the national team in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup, where the Wallabies were hailed for their defensive desperation.

Grey said rugby had evolved since then and the Wallabies needed to change their approach, which was tweaked again heading into the Rugby Championship.

"In terms of what's different between now and then, it's chalk and cheese," he said.

"If you are trying to defend the same way you were in 2015, you know you are going to come unstuck.

"We are not going to be changing things drastically overnight."

NATHAN GREY'S LEAKY COACHING RECORD IN AUSTRALIA

Wallabies defensive coach Nathan Grey
Wallabies defensive coach Nathan Grey Photo credit: Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels defence coach (2011-12)

2011: 36 points, 5 tries conceded on average per match

2012: 33 points, 4 tries

NSW Waratahs defence coach (2013-2017)

2013: 23 points, 2 tries

2014: 17 points, 2 tries (won Super Rugby title)

2015: 20 points, 3 tries

2016: 21 points, 2 tries

2017: 35 points, 5 tries (worst in Waratahs history)

Wallabies defence coach (2015-present)

2015: 18 points, 2 tries

2016: 27 points, 3 tries

2017: 30 points, 4 tries

AAP 

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