Deans: ‘We’ve been manipulated’

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has brushed off Peter de Villiers’s ‘scrum cheat’ claims.

The Australians have admired the Springboks’ recent performances, but Deans wasn’t pleased to hear De Villiers branding his side as cheats who deliberately collapse scrums to milk penalties. Tighthead Al Baxter was repeatedly penalised against the All Blacks in Auckland last month.

‘I did read that comment with interest where he suggested that we had manipulated others,’ he said at his first press conference on Thursday. ‘I’d suggest it’s probably the opposite.

‘I think we’ve been manipulated [by opposition scrum tactics]. We certainly haven’t had any benefit of manipulation, put it that way. We have to wise up a little bit, to be quite honest, because we have suffered the consequences.

‘We’ve got to master that. It’s not a good idea to leave that in the hands of another.’

Deans hopes to meet up with Saturday’s referee Alain Rolland to clarify what will be required from both front rows.

‘I understand there is an opportunity [to meet Rolland]. Those regulations seem to change from year to year with paranoia and other things,’ Deans said.

‘We’d certainly like to know if he has some areas of concern, particularly if our opposition meet and there’s something that surfaces out of that, because we’d like to know and be forewarned.

‘It’s always good to know if a referee enters a game with a preconceived idea of what he thinks he’ll experience.’