An instinctive reaction to stick out his right mitt set up the Wallabies’ semi-final victory over Argentina – but Rob Simmons is eyeing the All Blacks lineout as his biggest hurdle to overcome this Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand’s tall timber dismantled the Springboks in their two-point semi-final victory on Saturday, a mere 24 hours before Simmons showed his versatility with a 30 metre dash to the tryline against Los Pumas.
While the try brought a smile to Simmons’ face – it was just his second in 59 Tests – his demeanour quickly turned serious when the prospect of toppling the All Blacks’ lineout was raised.
“The All Blacks aren’t doing anything different but they’re quite strong in the defensive lineout,” he said.
“South Africa is usually quite strong there as well so it’s not a surprise.
“It’s going to be a hard slog in that area.”
The sight of a lumbering Simmons making his way towards the tryline for the opening score of the Wallabies’ semi-final win after snaffling an inside ball off Argentinian No.10 Nicolas Sanchez was an unlikely one.
But he insists while second-rowers aren’t your typical beneficiaries of an intercept, nothing happens by accident under coach Michael Cheika.
“It’s something we’d been aware of during the week, that they like to throw those inside balls,” Simmons said.
“They’d been doing it a few games beforehand and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“I don’t think second-rowers are ever thinking intercept. Just a reaction, stuck my hand out and it stuck in my hand.
“The next reaction is to bolt towards the line.”