Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa says his tight-head rival Taniela Tupou is “perfectly” suited to the finishing role in which he terrorised France in Australia’s midweek win at Suncorp Stadium.
Tupou was superb off bench after replacing Alaalatoa in the Wallabies’ last-gasp 23-21 victory on Wednesday night.
It was a cameo performance worthy of Queensland Reds star Tupou being elevated to the starting side for Tuesday’s second Test at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.
However, perhaps pushing for his own retention as a starter, Brumbies front-rower Alaalatoa called for a similar tactic to be used next week.
Taniela Tupou charges through the French defence at Suncorp Stadium. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“In terms of a tight-five role, whether you’re starting or on the bench, you’re always looking to dominate that physicality area,” Alaalatoa said.
“The way that game panned out we were slowly building, and then to have someone like ‘Nella’ come off the bench, he just created havoc with the way that he played – I thought that was perfect.
“In terms of the tight five, in terms of our game, physicality is something that we really pride ourselves on.”
With three Tests in the space of 11 days, Alaalatoa said there was a definite squad mentality in the Wallabies camp.
“Picking a strong side’s very important. Every Test in this series matters,” he said.
“For me, making sure that we do our job up front in terms of our set piece, delivering good ball in the scrum and the lineout, but then also getting into position early so we can see different opportunities that may present themselves.”
Alaalatoa said the Wallabies needed to improve to clinch the series against a French side that led for almost the entirety of the first Test before succumbing to a Noah Lolesio penalty goal after the hooter.
“We found a way to win but we knew that our performance was far from our best,” he said.
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