Recover and Rebound: Australia-Brazil Preview

Chris Guscott

There’s no doubt that there were was plenty of physical and mental hurt following Australia’s last match. Instead of looking for sympathy however, they’re looking for redemption.

Just ask safety Damien Molloy.

“It’s left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. We don’t want to feel that losing feeling again, especially by the margin that we did. I think we had the confidence to get the job done against France but we just didn’t execute. We won’t be making that mistake again against Brazil.” Molloy said.

The 50-point defeat certainly brought the side back to earth, and after two matches of physicality which had left the squad battered, the coaching staff decided to give the players the day off and get in some valuable recovery time ahead of their match against Brazil.

It’s easy to see how well it worked, and step one for a successful rebound was complete.

“Everyone pulled up exactly how you’d expect. We were a bit banged up from France, and the recovery session was exactly what we needed mentally and physically. Just to relax, get off our feet and do what’s right by ourselves to give us the best chance to beat Brazil.” Molloy said.

Running back Conor Foley, one of the stars in the Outback’s opening round rampage against South Korea, echoes Molloy’s sentiment.

“We need to focus on Brazil because this is a do-or-die match for us, and the boys have responded well quite well today. We’ve had a good recovery session yesterday; the boys were really sharp and crisp out there at training.” Foley said.

“There was a bit of hurt after the video session, but we decided to just put it behind us and keep going from there.”

With the players now ready to regain some pride, the coaches will be next in the spotlight as they gameplan against the tournament’s new boys. They’re quietly confident in what they’ve seen, and without the external distractions and personal connections that were littered throughout the matchup against France, it will remain as quiet as possible.

Brazil’s performance against South Korea in the last round is important to note in comparison to Australia’s round one match against them. The Oncas dominated the ground by totalling 237 rushing yards (Australia had 247 yards), they converted 5-for-5 on redzone entries (Australia converted 3-for-3) and had 20 first downs (Australia had 21).

Whilst it’s futile to draw such simple comparisons when there are so many other variables in play, it’s fair to say that Brazil would be taking a similar amount of confidence, and positives, from their win as Australia would have. From the limited presumptions you could make, Brazil might be much closer to Australia’s level than many may think.

IFAF personally would be hoping for a close game, as there hasn’t been a single match which has been decided by less than 24 points so far up to this stage of the tournament. Whether or not that could happen when Australia face Brazil remains to be seen, but it’s a fair assumption that with the players and coaching staff that the Outback has at its disposal, Australia are clear favourites.

When asked about the potential talent differential and if it could lower their own gameplay, the players were quick to dismiss that notion.

“We’re playing for Australia; every challenge we get the boys want to rise for it. Our pride was a bit hurt after the France game, so we’re going to come out and give 100% so that’s not a problem.” Foley said.

Wide receiver Mitchell Besse agrees; “We haven’t faced them before and the scoreboards don’t show the full story so we’ve just got to go out and play our own game.”

Australia faces Brazil on Wednesday 15th July at 12pm (Thursday 16th July at 2am AEST).

Written by Chris Guscott – @Chris_Guscott

by Chris Guscott Writer covering the national selection camps and 2015 World Championships in Canton, Ohio. Has covered/commentated the 2014 and 2016 Australian Gridiron League as well as reporting/commentating at Gridiron South Australia since 2013.