REVEALED: Australia's tactical plan to beat New Zealand
How do you beat the All Blacks? Sorry, that should be "how do you beat New Zealand?"
Michael Cheika has been employing some mind games ahead of tomorrow's Rugby World Cup final, but it seems the wily Wallabies coach has also been thinking about the actual game.
As well as avoiding referring to their opponents as "the All Blacks", Cheika has some plans for the New Zealand players, which include getting Kieran Read "rattled", being aware that Ma'a Nonu likes to step inside when playing against a fast defensive line and an intention to "expose" the opposition's lethal wingers, Julian Savea and Nehe Milner-Skudder.
That is the secret to beating the defending champions, if the notes in scrum coach Mario Ledesma's hands at the captain's run in Twickenham are anything to go by.
Australia have only beaten New Zealand five times in their last 25 meetings, most recently recording a 27-19 win in Sydney back in August.
The Daily Mail have taken a closer look at Ledesma's notes and this is what they say:
Kickoff #5 and keep Poey [David Pocock] back (no Carter rage) (high as possible)
Kickoff receipt #4 Kieran Read (get him rattled)
Kick receipt shift off edge, forwards then snap to Snow or play
Own the air space, catch everything, chace everything, escort wingers!!!
Carter running right to left
Nonu steps back on the inside when linespeed against
Badge defence (Wednesday morning)
Turnover spark in attack and defence
Lineout attack gainline front foot speed. Expose Milner-Skudder and Savea under ball or in backfield
... with ball in hand, keep finding our shap. (Turnover kick long if space, or maintain..."
Some of it is quite coded, but focusing on turnovers and trying to test Savea and Milner-Skudder in defence would be in keeping with how Australia reached the final, emerging from the toughest pool of all time, playing very offensive, entertaining rugby.
Owning the airspace will depend a lot on the fitness of full-back Israel Folau, while sticking the in-form David Pocock under the restarts makes perfect sense.
Rattling Read however could be easier said than done...