Keo.co.za brings you the latest from the Wallabies’ end-of-year tour.
Deans lauds scrum saviour - Robbie Deans says referee Christophe Berdos was one of only a few officials who don’t have a preconceived perception of Australia’s scrum.
The Frenchman, Deans said, was fair in his calls in the Test against Italy. ‘The really exciting thing was it’s the first instance we’ve had a referee base a decision on reality as opposed to preconceived ideas and give the benefit to the negative incentive,’ Deans said. ‘As long as referees are provided with negative incentives, teams and players will take it.
‘There’s no doubt a lot of decisions in the past have been based around preconception, as opposed to what has actually happened. We saw examples of that last night. Let’s be truthful here, [Italian tight-head prop Martin] Castrogiovanni was having a giggle. He was having a laugh. He probably chose the wrong bloke to do it with, because scrummaging is big in France and Christophe is smart enough to take a look.’
No rest for World Cup Wallabies - The management of Australia’s World Cup certainties will be left to their franchises.
Robbie Deans said he hoped common sense would be applied to the situation. ‘We won’t be intervening at all,’ he said. ‘There will obviously be a bit of dialogue. We have systems in place now that we didn’t have before … Ultimately it is about the players.’
Calls for retention of new blood - Senior Australian rugby writer Spiro Zavos says the senior players cut for the Italy Test have to earn their recall.
Zavos noted that their replacements thrived in Florence and was in favour of their retention. ‘There has been criticism of the reshaped Wallabies’ 32-14 victory over Italy. And already there are dire predictions about what France will do to the Wallabies in Paris on Saturday. My reading of the Test, though, is that all the replacements brought in played well enough to justify selection in the starting side against France,’ he wrote.
‘Berrick Barnes, for instance, with his six successful penalties, most of them from a long way out, seems to have solved a chronic problem for the Wallabies this season. The losses to England at Sydney and at Twickenham would probably have been reversed had Barnes been on the field to kick the penalties that were missed in those Tests.’