JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Deans hoping the pain of Paris will keep Wallabies focused on showdown with Italians

Positive … Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

Positive … Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. Photo: AFP

FLORENCE: Coach Robbie Deans has every reason to believe the Wallabies learnt the lessons of that dark night in Paris and will save themselves the pain of another disappointment against Italy on Saturday.

He has every reason to believe the memories of the dressing room in the bowels of Stade de France after Australia's 27-point mental capitulation linger long and strong enough to stem any similar relaxation after last week's win at Twickenham.

Every reason, but no guarantee. Deans knows his players are masters of their own minds and hold the key, individually and collectively, to consistency on this end-of-year tour and beyond.

''You hope [they are more focused] but I gave up second-guessing that stuff years ago,'' he said. ''They appear to be on task but the test is when the whistle blows. At that point you'll see proof or otherwise.''

The challenges Italy pose are much the same - but more pressing - than those posed by the exuberant but inexperienced England team last week.

The Wallabies will need the same technical excellence at the set-piece and the same determination and work rate around the collision and break down. Most importantly - here lies the mental challenge - everything they do will need to be fuelled by the same urgency that drove them away from complacency and into the arms of victory against England.

''[Italy] will up [the challenge] again because they understand the importance of it as well,'' Deans said. ''They won't want us to play, they won't want us to have ball, they'll want to - through set-piece and breakdown - stymie our game, no doubt. It's double-edged.''

The selections of Brett Sheehan and Scott Higginbotham could be as much about the expected physicality of the Azzurri as the ''fresh legs'' Deans talked about. The Wallabies are expecting an almighty arm wrestle against Italy and both players bring a hardened battle-ready mindset to the field.

''[Sheehan] is one of those blokes you want on your side; he doesn't relent,'' Deans said of the 33-year-old halfback making his maiden Test start on Saturday. ''He's at you, at you, at you and he'll be at his own teammates, I hope. He'll be at the forward pack to get up and go. He's a competitor.''

Expect less of the nail-biting short kicks the Wallabies sent down against England. Deans has directed five-eighth Kurtley Beale and fullback Berrick Barnes to hold, hold, hold rather than risk handing over possession.

''They're very good at holding the ball so we certainly won't want to be kicking as much as we did last week,'' he said.

''Even though we got some momentum out of it … we over did it ultimately, evidenced in the last 10 minutes, when we went a little bit defensive. That was an expression of their confidence in each other defensively but [was] not ideal.''

Barnes, starting at fullback for just the third time this season, is well-versed in the Italian way. He spent time practising under the high ball at training this week in anticipation of that pressure.

''A lot of the best ball they had [against New Zealand last week] was from turning blokes over with kick-chase and even guys like [fullback] Cory Jane had a tough week under it, especially early on, so we're going to have to face that again this week,'' he said.

Barnes's boot, which delivered the Wallabies their six-point buffer last week, could factor again on Saturday if Italy forces the set-piece as much as they have been. His playmaking partnership with Beale will also have another opportunity to develop if the Wallabies can win the battle up front.

''I thought Kurtley mixed his game up really well last week; he got in there and got his hands and carried at times and kicked at times, and just those little chips broke up England's defence last week; I don't think they were expecting that,'' Barnes said.

But as Deans keeps reminding them, the set-piece comes first.

''We've got to get [that] right in order to get into the game, but after that we know that around the break down as well, they're going to attack it hard,'' he said. ''It's going to be a genuine Test match, there'll be no two ways about it, there'll be no shortcuts to succeeding this weekend.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 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 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers