Dane Haylett-Petty says the Wallabies can’t afford to let themselves get bogged down in another penalty-fest after England successfully stifled their free-flowing game in Brisbane.
England leads the three-Test Cook Cup series after smothering Australia to win 39-28 in the opener at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, extending their winning streak under Eddie Jones to seven matches.
Despite scoring four tries to three, the Wallabies were on the wrong end of a 15-8 penalty account that allowed the English to wrestle the ascendancy and then surge in front through Owen Farrell’s pin-point goalkicking.
One of four Wallaby debutants, winger Haylett-Petty said it was a deliberate ploy by the Red Rose to stop Australia’s high-tempo style, which was on full display as the hosts made a cracking start, crossing twice inside the first 16 minutes, only to lose their fluency.
“I definitely think when we played up-tempo we got on top of them, so that’s what we need to do going into next week and I think that’s what they’ll be trying to steer clear of,” he said.
“They wanted to make it a bit of a brawl and we wanted to play the rugby – 100 per cent, that’s how they always play, isn’t it?
“That’s definitely a challenge for next week – to play our style of footy.
“We were able to do it for patches, but not long enough.”
The second Test is on Saturday night at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.
Haylett-Petty said it was a “bittersweet” first taste of international football, describing the pace as below that of Super Rugby – because of England’s tactics – but far more physical.
The 26-year-old handled the occasion with no troubles, made more runs (14 for 122m) than any other Wallaby and also presented as a tidy kicking option.
Should coach Michael Cheika opt to move Israel Folau into the frontline at any time this series, Haylett-Petty would be a leading candidate to play at fullback, his usual position for the Western Force.
“I loved every single minute out there playing with the boys, but hugely disappointing to come away with that result,” he said.