Retallick's sobering warning

Strewth, Brodie Retallick has grimmer news for the Aussies.

Retallick, who has formed arguably one of the world's most feared locking partnerships with Sam Whitelock over the last five years, wasn't thrilled with the way the All Blacks lineouts functioned during the 1-1 series draw against the British and Irish Lions.

At 2.04m there aren't too many people that Retallick has to look up to, but the Wallabies' Rory Arnold, who will partner Adam Coleman in the boiler room, is 4cm taller than the Kiwi.

Height isn't everything it once was; the advent of lifting jumpers in the modern game means the ball thrower's timing, the technique of the lifters and whether the leaper himself can launch into the air are all important.

And Retallick says the way the New Zealanders' lineouts functioned against the Lions indicated some tinkering was required.

"We probably had our worst series, in terms of lineouts, in a number of years. That is something we have looked at this week," Retallick said.

"As a forward pack we have got high expectations of ourselves to get the lineout right. We have got some pretty tall timber and some athletes there, but in saying that the Australians have come a long way."

Mention the Aussies' woeful record against the Kiwi sides in Super Rugby, it was 26 straight losses this year, and the All Blacks keep repeating that it meaningless.

That may be the case but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has to get his game plan, and fill his players heads with all sorts of positive messages, if his team is to win at ANZ Stadium.

Ticket sales have been disappointing for this game at the 2000 Olympic venue, just another headache for the embattled Australian Rugby Union.

So to hear Retallick lament the way the lineout performed against the Lions suggests there is little likelihood of the All Blacks sleepwalking their way through this test.

No doubt, behind closed doors, they have been told things need to improve.

"There was a little bit of communication breakdown, we just didn't nail our roles," Retallick added in reference to his annoyance at the way the set-piece functioned against the Lions.

"It has been a huge focus, this week, of getting together and getting back to the standard we know we are capable of."

The Lions used the controversial tactic of yelling when the All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor was preparing to throw the ball in, something Retallick accepts got under their skin.

He wasn't certain whether the Aussies would replicate the ploy.

"I am not sure. They might have seen what happened during June and do it, but we looked at it and we thought we bought into what they (the Lions) were doing a bit too much and just need to focus on what we were doing.

"One of the things we talked about was that if they (the Lions) were yelling and screaming … we would just get in and get out and do our job."



Photo by: Getty Images Caption: Brodie Retallick has been a key part of the All Blacks forward pack since 2012.