The All Blacks expecting breakdown challenge from Australia in Bledisloe II

All Blacks Luke Jacobson scores a try. Credit: Alamy

All Blacks Luke Jacobson scores a try. Credit: Alamy

All Blacks back-row Luke Jacobson is expecting the Wallabies to look to disrupt the breakdown when the sides meet this weekend for the second Bledisloe Test.

Jacobson’s side retained the trophy for the 21st consecutive year in 2023 after a 38-7 win over their trans-Tasman rivals last weekend.

It has been a difficult return for Eddie Jones to the helm of the Wallabies who are winless in their first three matches under the veteran coach.

Expecting a challenge

Nevertheless, Jacobson expects a big challenge from their neighbours in this weekend’s clash.

“I think so, they probably got a little bit of purchase from their breakdown stuff on the weekend that they will probably look to come at us again,” he said. “But, look, also on the flipside we probably weren’t as good at some of that stuff that we would like to be.

“We will be looking to take a step up there, and I am sure they will come out and try to take it out up front as they do. And we will be ready for that.”

Jacobson has had limited game-time with the All Blacks this season but could well start this weekend as he tries to force his name into the Rugby World Cup squad. A bonus on his part is his versatility although he admits number eight is his preference.

“I probably prefer 8, just because you get to do the scrummage work off the back and have a relationship with 9,” Jacobson said. “I am more than happy to play any loosie position. They are all quite similar, apart from that No 8 position which is a bit specialised off the back of the scrum.”

Test return

The star had been out of Test rugby for just about 21 months and admits it was faster than he remembered when he came on for a short stint against Australia.

“I had forgotten a little bit, how quick it was. I don’t know if the game opened a little bit, or if it was just usually that fast. But I was heaving. It was wicked to be out there, and a pretty cool time to be on as well.

“The boys were just getting a good roll on. It was still hard-out but I think the boys took a little bit of sting out of the pack in that first 40 [minutes].”

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The article The All Blacks expecting breakdown challenge from Australia in Bledisloe II appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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