Kicking was key to Wallabies win: Deans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kicking was key to Wallabies win: Deans

By Darren Walton 14/06/2009 04:44:37 PM Comments (0)

Robbie Deans has commended his Wallabies for putting the boot into Italy, nominating the side's improved tactical kicking as one of the keys to their solid start to the 2009 international season.

Another masterful kicking display from left-footed five-eighth Matt Giteau, who operated beautifully in tandem with the right-footed option of centre Berrick Barnes, enabled the Wallabies to dominate in Saturday night's 31-8 win at Canberra Stadium.

General-play kicking has long been one of Australia's Achilles heels, but Deans has worked hard to iron out the deficiencies since assuming the coaching reins last year.

Just as the improvement was evident in the 55-7 victory over of the Barbarians the previous week, the Wallabies took another step forward against the Azzurri.

Fullback James O'Connor, the big hoof of Drew Mitchell and even centre Stirling Mortlock excelled in the kicking department in the five-try win, leaving Deans delighted.

"That's two weeks back-to-back where it was superior to last year so it's good growth and we'll just keep working on it," Deans said.

"You only have to ask the forwards to see the importance of that. It's critical because it just keeps you territorially at the right part of the ground.

"It builds pressure on your opponent and it doesn't allow them to get on the front foot and play the way they want to play.

"They have to work their way out of their own territory first before they feel able to take a risk, so to speak.

"It has been a good facet in the first two outings and hopefully that's a reflection of the work that's been done, but most importantly the thinking that's being done; of choices at any given moment.

Giteau said it was nice he and Barnes, in particular, could apply Australia's game plan so effectively.

"Ultimately, it was about gaining field position and that's what we tried to do," he said.

"Personally, I'm starting to feel like I'm striking the ball quite well around the field.

"With the forwards laying the platform, it makes my job so much easier just hitting the corners.

"Berrick's always been a great kicker so to have that versatility with a kicker either side certainly helps."

The one area Deans is keen to improve on in Saturday's second Test against Italy in Melbourne is the breakdown.

"Particularly around the contact," he said.

"The Italians did spend a bit of time on the ball and we weren't always efficient in moving those bodies.

"So if we want to play a little bit more expansively, we'll have to recycle more effectively.

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