Wallabies contend with wet Tokyo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies contend with wet Tokyo

By Darren Walton 26/10/2009 08:40:58 PM Comments (0)

With foul weather striking Tokyo this week, the Wallabies concede they will need to be tactically perfect to reverse their sorry run of losses against the All Blacks in Saturday's Bledisloe Cup clash.

Rain has lashed Japan's national capital ever since the Wallabies arrived at the weekend for the historic fixture and the worst of the dire conditions is still to come, according to forecasts.

"Someone's given me the mail that we've got some mini typhoon coming tomorrow morning," Wallabies vice-captain Berrick Barnes said on Monday.

"It's been pretty rotten here so far. You've only got to hope that that's going to clear up, but both teams are going to have to play in it if it is like that."

Coach Robbie Deans will name his Australian team on Tuesday and is tipped to move Barnes to five-eighth and start Matt Giteau at inside centre.

Barnes said regardless of where the two midfielders lined up, he and Giteau needed to match New Zealand's superstar flyhalf Dan Carter in the tactical kicking stakes if the Wallabies are to snap a six-Test losing streak against the All Blacks.

"We've got to be better in our strategic play," Barnes said.

"History has proven that we probably haven't played strategically as well as what the All Blacks have and that was especially probably shown up (last month) in Wellington, where Dan Carter was pretty much on the spot with his kicking.

"Even (All Blacks fullback) Mils (Muliaina) with his high balls coming back.

"So that's a big onus on the guys in the ball-playing positions and obviously the 15 and the wings - that we have our kicking spot-on this weekend.

"And even if it isn't spot on, we've got to make sure our chase is a lot better than what it has been.

"At the breakdown and probably the kick-chase is probably where the All Blacks have been beating us in the last few games and it's something that we really need to rectify."

Barnes, who often directed play from five-eighth during the Tri-Nations tournament, says he and Giteau have a good understanding of their twin roles as midfield generals and insists making the right calls in the heat of another Bledisloe Cup battle won't be a problem - no matter who wears the No.10 jumper.

"We'll share the calls," he said.

"That will predominately be between us and we'll go through them. We've worked out everything sort of between us for the last few weeks so there's no crap or anything like that there.

"So we're good to go and hopefully we can prove that on the weekend."

Barnes also said too much fuss had been made about his selection as vice-captain, behind newly-appointed skipper Rocky Elsom but ahead of more-experienced candidates Giteau and flanker George Smith.

"I was surprised because usually it (the vice-captain) isn't sort of known and it's something that's been made a bit of a deal of," he said.

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