Berrick Barnes says the Wallabies want to make amends after a disappointing 2009 season thus far.
The Wallabies achieved the wooden spoon in the Tri-Nations this year as they only secured one victory in a dismal campaign. Their confidence has been hit and they are no longer regarded as highly as the Springboks and All Blacks heading into the end-of-year tour.
Vice-captain Barnes said the team will look to ‘right their wrongs’ and make a big statement by beating the All Blacks in Tokyo.
‘It’s crucial for us to have a good result here,’ Barnes told rugbyheaven.com.au. ‘It will also send a message to the teams we are playing in the grand slam leg of the tour that we are fair dinkum. Probably right now they are looking at us thinking they can knock us off, and that we are the easiest of the three southern hemisphere teams to beat.
‘What we have talked about the last three weeks is winning back some respect, not just in our part of the world, but also up north. This is a big stepping stone for us.’
Barnes believes the Wallabies have the mental edge to oust the All Blacks on Saturday.
‘We need our enthusiasm to last 80 minutes. We’ve been poor at certain stages of the Tests this year, and the All Blacks make you pay. But mentally we know we can beat them,’ he said.