Aussie wrap (Tues)
18 Nov 2008
Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from Australia’s year-end tour.
Wallabies praise boot camps
Australia are crediting a series of gruelling boot camps as the secret to the dogged displays on their European tour.
In the build up to this year’s tour, coach Robbie Deans had his troops sweat it out for a month under acclaimed physical trainer Pete Harding.
The players were put through numerous sessions of conditioning drills and exercises that focused on increasing skill levels under physical and mental fatigue.
“The work they’ve been doing physically with Pete Harding is evident and I think they can feel that,” said Deans.
“That’s played a big part in the results. When you line up on the start line, you’ve got to have a sense of having a full tank to be able to go the distance.”
Fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper believes the camps have paid dividends.
“Those four weeks were some of the toughest training sessions I’ve ever been involved in,” said Ashley-Cooper. “I mean, 10 sessions in four days, that was really tough.
“But we’re really starting to feel the effects of it now. We’re starting to play for the 80 minutes. We’re out-running football teams, which is really important for us.”
Powerful No 8 Wycliff Palu described the camps as brutal.
“It was like a mini off-season,” said Palu. “It was a pretty tough four days a week there and I think the boys got a lot out of it.
“Definitely last week against England it showed. England had most of the ball for the last 10 minutes, but we held on in there and didn’t concede a try. So I think you’re starting to see the benefits.”
England rugby boss says sorry
RFU president Brian Williams has written to Australian High Commissioner John Dauth to apologise for the boos aimed at Australia’s goal kickers during last week’s Test at Twickenham.
Williams said he was “very annoyed” about the crowd behavior and had ordered an investigation as to why his calls for the abusive fans to quieten down was not broadcast over the ground’s PA system.
“I apologised to the High Commissioner, John Dauth, as we sat watching the game and heard the noise when they lined up their first penalty. I wasted no time,” Williams told the Daily Mail.
“I am a great supporter of the ethos of the game and this strikes me as another example of how the crowd is changing and that maybe many of those responsible are not real rugby supporters.
“They are letting England down. After the second Australian penalty, the noise gradually got worse. I think it’s awful.
“Real rugby supporters don’t behave like that because they know it’s wrong to show anything less than complete respect to the kickers from both sides.”
More to follow …