AAP Rugby

Irish are bears with sore heads: Farrell

By AAP Newswire

Irish defence coach Andy Farrell has likened his players to "bears with sore heads" and expects the Wallabies to feel their fury in the second Test on Saturday night.

Ireland need a victory at Melbourne's AAMI Park to keep the three-Test series alive following their 18-9 loss in Brisbane.

The defeat ended the tourists' 12-game winning run which included claiming the Six Nations title undefeated.

Farrell said the disappointment from that performance was driving their preparation for game two.

"They're pretty angry, grumbly, walking around like bears with sore heads," Farrell said.

"We've had a couple of meetings and they understand the reasons why, as individuals and collectives, certain things happened."

The former England assistant and rugby league international gave their defence, with two Australian tries, a pass mark.

The Wallabies at times caught the Six Nations champions on the hop with their quick recycle ball at the breakdown and their tactical kicking game.

He said his team were a little too "trigger-happy" instead of trusting their defensive line.

"It was decent, at times," Farrell said of the defence.

"But that's not good enough at this level in the sense that they are a very, very good attacking outfit.

"We knew that before the Test, we knew that they would be very hard to contain.

"It felt like we did that by and large, but you've got to be consistent with it."

Farrell expects aerial specialist Israel Folau to again pose a threat after starring in Brisbane.

While he admitted the fullback was hard to contain, he felt his team could do more to make the high ball a contest.

"Obviously, they had a plan and they backed themselves with it," he said.

"Is it a 50-50 when the ball's in the air with him? Probably not, he's so good at it.

"But sometimes we let him dominate the space more than he should and he had it a little bit too much his own way."

Winger Keith Earls remains in doubt after his head knock while the the rest of the squad trained in Melbourne.