Australian scrum anchor Sekope Kepu rated Saturday night’s tryless grind against France more satisfying than their 50-point blitz in the series opener.
Kepu and fellow front-rowers Tatafu Polota-Nau and James Slipper stood tallest for the Wallabies as their scrum overpowered Les Bleus pack at Etihad Stadium.
The set-piece was lauded by coach Ewen McKenzie who, at the same time, lamented his side’s lack of attacking patience and precision in a 6-0 victory.
Kepu was delighted the Wallabies showed they could muscle up and win through strength and character, not just when clean ball is laid on a platter for their dangerous backline as in the 50-23 first Test win in Brisbane last weekend.
“It’s one of those ones that’s probably better for you,” the tighthead prop said. “It was just a tougher battle.
“I feel it’s more satisfying.
“It was a grind and a test of character tonight and to come away with a win at Test match level I will take a win like that any day.”
Kepu admitted there were “a lot of things to fix” for the third Test in Sydney next Saturday but a sixth straight victory showed they were heading in the right direction leading into the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship.
A scrum demolition of the French midway through the second half highlighted the leaps the Australian forwards have made since being taught a lesson by New Zealand and South Africa last year.
“The scrum tonight was a hard-fought battle and I felt like we did a good job tonight,” Kepu said.
“(But) this week means nothing, we have to do it next week and again after that.”