Wallabies confident despite setback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies confident despite setback

By Darren Walton 01/08/2009 05:30:11 PM Comments (0)

The Wallabies are likely to have just one full training session with Robbie Deans in Cape Town before taking on the mighty Springboks in a vital Tri Nations clash at Newlands next Saturday.

While the Wallabies touched down in South Africa on Friday night, Deans will not arrive until late on Wednesday following the death of his father Tony in New Zealand.

Deans returned home to Christchurch on Friday after learning that his father's health had deteriorated, leaving assistant coaches Jim Williams and Richard Graham and seniors players to take charge of the team.

After a training-free day to recover from the draining 19-hour journey from Australia, the Wallabies planned to gather at the team hotel on Saturday night to watch the Springboks-All Blacks clash in Durban before having their first full-scale hit-out on Monday.

Deans was only expected to be on deck for Thursday's session and Friday's light captain's run, but the Wallabies were confident his absence would not adversely affect their build-up as they sought to bounce back from a 22-16 loss to New Zealand in their opening Tri Nations match in Auckland two weeks ago.

Hooker Stephen Moore said most of the tactical work had been completed during a three-day camp in Sydney prior to leaving for South Africa.

"And the game plan against the Boks is pretty simple: we need to match them in the physical department," Moore said.

While the Wallabies broke an eight-year Test-match losing streak in South Africa last year with a 27-15 victory in Durban - which local reporters described as "disastrous" for the world champion Springboks - they crashed back to earth the following week with a demoralising 53-8 defeat in Johannesburg.

The Wallabies have not won at Newlands in 1992 and are facing an in-form team oozing confidence after an historic home series victory over the British and Irish Lions.

"Those past records just keep coming up but it's just a matter of us focusing on what happens next week," Williams said.

"That's what we can control. We have to make sure our preparation is as good as it can be to make sure we put a good performance on the pitch."

Deans was likely to name his match-day 22 on Thursday after selecting a 24-man squad for the trip.

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