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Springboks a big physical challenge, says Deans

28th July, 2009
5

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans rates next week’s clash with the Springboks as his forwards’ biggest challenge and has warned they must ramp up their physicality.

The Australian squad reassembled in Sydney on Tuesday, three days prior to their departure for Cape Town and their August 8 Tri Nations appointment with the world champions at Newlands.

The Springboks proved how tough they would be to beat by overpowering the All Blacks, who a week earlier had trumped Australia in Auckland.

“They (South Africa) are a very good side and they’ve been that for a while and they just exude that belief,” Deans said.

“They’ve got all the elements and that first 30 minutes was pretty impressive.

“The All Blacks did well to keep themselves in the game, obviously it’s never been easy getting results in South Africa.

“Obviously, if you don’t accept the physical challenge then there won’t be a lot to feed off, so that’s one area where we are going to have to step up, essentially.

“Otherwise it doesn’t matter what plans you’ve got in mind, they won’t come to much.”

Asked if the battle at the breakdown represented his pack’s biggest challenge, Deans replied: “Yeah, I think that would be fair.

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“When you look at the physicality of the South Africans, they fair hurtle into that area and I think you look at the way the All Blacks struggled in the first 30 (minutes) in that area, the answer would have to be ‘yes’.”

South Africa boast the world’s best lineout, but Deans said Australia wouldn’t necessarily look at altering their back row to add another jumping option.

“It’s not so much around the extra jumper, as such, we’ve got jumpers and blokes who can perform those roles,” Deans said.

“It’s about getting the accuracy of our work right and that’s the combinations and there’s many ways of winning a lineout and the key focus is to master those intricacies.”

Keen to avoid the repetition of frequent scrum penalties Australia incurred in their Tri-Nations opener, Deans confirmed he would be talking to the match referee beforehand.

“It’s an area we’ve got to master, because it just makes your life so much harder when you’ve got decisions that impact on the flow of that game,” Deans said.

Deans believed back rower Richard Brown would be available for selection for the Springboks Test after suffering a foot injury against New Zealand in Auckland.

He was also optimistic about the progress of fellow back rower Rocky Elsom, though the Brumbies star recruit will not be fit for the Cape Town Test.

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“He (Elsom) got some work in over the weekend and hasn’t had any setbacks as a result of that work, so he is progressing well. He’s at the point now where he can up the ante in terms of the volume and he seems to be responding well to it, Deans said.

“Finally, he’s turning the corner, he won’t be considered for Cape Town but the signs are pretty good after that.”

Deans welcomed the likelihood of All Black’s five-eighth Daniel Carter playing against the Wallabies on August 22 after recovering from injury.

“You have to say it’s a possibility now. It would be great if he is (playing), it would be great for him, it would be great for rugby.”