Small things to help Wallabies: Sharpe
Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe is confident small adjustments will make a big difference to a Wallabies team still smarting from their scoreless performance against the All Blacks.
The Wallabies are desperate to put a difficult start to the Rugby Championship behind them when they face a similarly chastened South Africa in Perth on Saturday night.
“It’s motivation,” said Sharpe of his team’s 22-0 last-start loss to New Zealand in Auckland following a 27-19 defeat by the All Blacks in Sydney.
“The guys are all proud Australians and we want to make sure that the next time we take to the track we get a victory.
“There’s plenty for us to do in terms of getting things right on the field, but minor adjustments will see a big difference.”
The Springboks beat competition newcomers Argentina 27-6 in Cape Town, but they could only scrape a fortuitous 16-16 draw and are under pressure at home as they attempt to stop a four-match losing streak against the Wallabies.
“This is very much a new Springboks side with a new coach and all the rest of it,” said Sharpe.
“The one thing they will bring is that national pride and they will be strong up front and on the back of that they’ve got very good tactical kicking skills.”
A real positive to come out of the heavy loss to New Zealand was the improved form of Sharpe’s big locking partner Sitaleki Timani.
That will be put to the test in a big way against the giant Boks pack and in the lineout battle with the likes of Andries Bekker.
“When you get to international level it takes a little bit of time to find your feet and some guys blast onto it with a great couple of games and then go a bit quiet,” said Sharpe.
“I think Sita (Timani) set the benchmark for where he needs to be each week.”
Sharpe gets another chance to farewell the Perth fans on Saturday night after his emotional Super Rugby send off earlier this year, but that’s not a concern right now.
“It will be great to play well and win the game in what will be my last game in Perth,” he said.
“This weekend I’m probably a bit over farewells to be honest. I will just be happy with the win.”© AAP 2013
Wallabes vs Wales - Scott Allen's match highlights -