Deans looks to stop the rot against ABs
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 6:45p.m.
By Jim Kayes
Robbie Deans knows the Wallabies have to keep winning if he's to stay on as coach.
With his big supporter, John O'Neill, stepping down as the Australian Rugby Union's chief executive, Deans needs to stop the rot against the All Blacks – and to do that he's promising a more adventurous approach to Saturday’s test in Brisbane.
With his likely successor, Ewen McKenzie, watching from the stands, Deans put the Wallabies through their paces today. He admits their inability to control the speed of the game has cost them against the All Blacks.
“It wasn't for want of trying but they were on top of every initiative and at some point, to do well against them, you've got to take the initiative,” he says. “You can't sort of wait for it to land in your lap, you’ve got to take the game to them.”
But it's not just there that the Wallabies have been lacking.
“The other area where we struggled against these blokes last time was getting out of our end – they're masters at forcing you to play the game where they want you to play it and they feed off what you offer them as a result,” says Deans.
One of the few success stories in an injury-plagued year for Deans and the Wallabies has been Kurtley Beale's shift to first five.
“It requires Kurtley to think for the team, not just himself, and he's doing that," Deans says. "He's doing his homework – his amount of interaction and communication within the group has just escalated, out of necessity.”
Another doing well is transplanted Aucklander Mike Harris. He'll start at fullback, hoping home ground advantage helps break the All Blacks run of 16 consecutive wins.
“We've had a pretty good record against them at Suncorp but as you say, they've shown everyone that they're the best team in the world,” says Harris. “They've locked up the Bledisloe and locked up the Rugby Championship so in that sort of sense there's not to much to lose and everything to gain.”
And for the record, last year's win against the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium was actually Australia’s first in four attempts.
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