Wallabies head north for Tri-Nations - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies head north for Tri-Nations

By David Beniuk 22/08/2008 06:42:43 AM Comments (0)

The Wallabies will have their final training run in Cape Town a day before flying to Durban ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations showdown with South Africa.

Among Australia's concerns will be the weather, with 28 degrees forecast for Saturday afternoon, significantly warmer than Thursday's blustery 16 in Cape Town, the side's base throughout the first week of their tour of the Republic.

The Wallabies need to win one of their two matches in South Africa, where they have won only twice in 16 years, to set up a Tri-Nations finale with New Zealand in Brisbane next month.

Durban is considered Australia's better chance for a win - they got their last victory there in 2000 and haven't won at the venue for the second Test, Johannesburg, since 1963.

"It's not something that is a burden to them, it's not something to this group because they haven't been part of every step along the way," coach Robbie Deans said of Australia's hoodoo.

"This is a unique gathering of players and we're just looking to the opportunity that we have, so the past doesn't become an anchor for us, in fact it's probably more of a stimulant than anything.

"It's the ultimate rugby experience, it's the ultimate rugby nation ... this is the place you come to test yourself and we know that we'll be tested, seriously tested, on the weekend.

"But we hope to do some testing of our own."

Injury concerns Rocky Elsom, James Horwill (both foot) and Sam Cordingley (food poisoning) all trained strongly on Thursday and Deans said their was no doubt over any of them playing.

"I think the intensity and everyone's mindsets are in good places so I think that's positive, really positive," Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock said.

"Obviously it's about building that intensity, getting that mental build-up right and then bringing it out on Saturday in the Test match.

"I think we found that certainly playing in the last Test match a couple of weeks ago against New Zealand that we knew they were going to come out to us with a fair bit of intensity and that's exactly what they brought.

"Unfortunately we didn't match it so for us we feel that that's probably going to be the case again this time.

"Hopefully we will match it. I think that's the challenge that's in front of us."

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