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Simmons wary of 'crafty and old school' O'Connell-led Irish

Australia have not lost back-to-back internationals on their November tour since 2005.

And they don't intend to start on Saturday.

Wallaby second row Rob Simmons has described Ireland as "crafty and old school" in how they neutralised the South African maul.

"Our lineout didn't go how we wanted it to last week," he said, in reference to the pressure put on by France.

"We weren't manipulated by the defence. They were our mistakes and it's easy to fix," Simmons said.

Australia quickly turned their eyes to Ireland and Simmons was taken with how they managed to take a Springbok strength and turn it into a weakness.

"We're doing our research, we saw the weapon they used against South Africa and we're looking to stop it," he added.

"Headed by Paul O'Connell, they're pretty crafty and old school.

"There are ways you can go about it, you don't have to give away penalties. We'll mix things up and we have to be smart about it."

The tactic not to engage the maul is commonly used by Saracens in The Premiership and Glasgow in the PRO12 and was even a tool for Simmons at the Queensland Reds.

"I've used that tactic myself. It keeps you guessing and makes you uncertain. That's their way of trying to manipulate you in attack, communications is the key."

Ireland are unlikely to execute the same tactics against Australia.

The Wallabies do not pose the same aerial threat as Victor Matfield's crew of high-flyers.

The O'Connell-Devin Toner brains trust will have something up their sleeves and are unlikely to turn to the same tactics.

However, coach Michael Cheika may be tempted to leave out Israel Folau in light of his indifferent impact against France with the controversial Kurtley Beale in contention for a sensational return to test rugby.

What a shame it would be for the Irish public to miss out on the extravagant skills of Folau, who has racked up 17 tries in 27 tests in what must be the most seamless transition from League to Union.

There are also rumours of the return of half-backs Will Genia and Quade Cooper for the in-form Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley.

He is still rooted in the feeling out process of finding out who best works for his style of play.

The fun and games really start when Cheika names the men he will place his faith in late this afternoon.


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