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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.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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