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Barnes calls on pack to let backs apply running game

Keep the faith ... Berrick Barnes wants the Wallabies' backs to prove doubters wrong.

Keep the faith ... Berrick Barnes wants the Wallabies' backs to prove doubters wrong. Photo: Getty images

THE Wallabies backs, infuriated they have been branded conservative and defence-oriented, want to use the Springboks Test to remind all they actually know how to score tries, and plenty of them.

It has been a barren season for the Wallabies, scoring just six tries in six Tests, and with it have come complaints that they have become one-dimensional and lack midfielders who can make a break. Scotland in Newcastle and New Zealand in Auckland succeeded in holding the Wallabies tryless; Australia's tally was only boosted by scoring three against Wales in the second Test in Melbourne. And two of the six tries scored were by forwards - Nathan Sharpe and Scott Higginbotham.

But Wallabies centre Berrick Barnes said it was not the time to give up on their attacking capabilities and, as long as they received quality possession, they were hopeful of showing their true form when they confront South Africa in Perth on Saturday night.

''We wanted to play expansive football against the Kiwis but we didn't get the chance to. It revolves around getting front-foot ball,'' Barnes said yesterday.

''It's a whole XV situation for us. The Kiwis carried hard and were able to get in behind us, and that allowed them to offload. And to do that you have to win the contact. They were doing that consistently, and while we scrambled well we couldn't dent them. So we have to take a leaf out of what they [the All Blacks] were doing in attack. We have to be a lot more physical to match the Springboks.''

In a bid to give the Wallabies back line a solid and speedy structure, the Test selectors picked the fastest Australian provincial player, Dom Shipperley, on one wing, beckoned back Kurtley Beale at fullback and returned Adam Ashley-Cooper to his best position - outside-centre.

But as Barnes says, so much depends on what is happening up front - at the set-piece and the breakdown. The Wallabies are aware the Springboks will adopt their traditional muscle game, and are preparing accordingly.

Wallabies forwards coach Andrew Blades said yesterday the team had focused this week on ensuring they quelled the Springboks' power source - their scrum. And a lot relied on undermining Springbok tight-head prop Jannie du Plessis, before he undermined them.

''The Springbok scrum is very different to New Zealand, and they use du Plessis to attack an opponent - and as you saw in the England Test series, there was a lot of sideways movement, with the scrum drifting across the field,'' Blades said.

''They rely on their bulk and force, and it is similar to some of the old Argentinian packs. They then use du Plessis to come across at an angle to try and create movement.''

To counter du Plessis, the Wallabies forwards have been working on getting their set-piece formation and structure right.

''A lot revolves around the hooker's shoulders, and making sure he stays nice and low. This ensures that du Plessis can't get under their ribs on the engagement and cause problems. We got some good insights from the England Test matches and how they adapted over the series,'' Blades said.

''They really got disrupted by South Africa early in the series and, as it went on, they used du Plessis's angle to really create some difficulties for the Springboks later in the series. Our guys have done it well at training, but it is a matter of now transferring it to the heat of battle.''

Blades, a respected Wallabies tight-head prop, said there were some advantages in confronting the Springboks. Unlike New Zealand, who can be unpredictable up front and constantly change their tactics, the Springboks remain rigid in their approach. ''In a South African Test, the guys know exactly what's coming, and you just have to steel yourself for it. It is going to be direct, physical and aggressive.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all

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