Deans praises Wallabies’ response

AUSTRALIA coach Robbie Deans hailed his side’s display after last week’s shock defeat to Samoa following their commanding 39-20 victory over South Africa last night.

Led by returning stars Will Genia, Quade Cooper, James O’Connor, David Pocock and James Horwill, the Wallabies dominated the game to put their Rugby World Cup preparations firmly back on track.

It was also the perfect start to the shortened Tri Nations tournament as Australia ran in five tries to the Springboks’ two to chalk up a valuable bonus-point victory.

“The boys got the job done well,” Deans said. “They adjusted their mentality, they adjusted their body position and we played some rugby this week.

“These blokes probably got a bit of a shot over the bow as well to ensure that they came back in the right frame of mind.

“The set-piece was good, the scrummaging was good, and critically we got our shoulders down.

“Not only in defence, but in attack we got some momentum which these blokes enjoy.”

Deans, though, was quick to remind his charges a far greater challenge awaits in their next match against the New Zealand at Eden Park on August 6.

“It was a step forward but it’s going to have to be another one again,” he said in reference to the game against the All Blacks.

Meanwhile, Deans is hopeful an ankle injury to star full-back Kurtley Beale is nothing serious.

“Kurtley twisted his ankle at the end there. You never like to presume because they can be a bit tricky but it didn’t look too bad,” he said.

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers was left to rue his side’s high turnover count, but praised the Wallabies’ “brilliant” counter-attacking abilities.

“They took the chances that came their way quite brilliantly and the decisions they made were quite spot on today,” De Villiers said.

De Villiers confirmed he plans to make “a few changes” ahead of Saturday’s Test against the All Blacks in Wellington and insisted the absence of 23 front-line players from the touring party was “not by choice”.

AUSTRALIA: K Beale; J O’Connor, A Ashley-Cooper, P McCabe, D Ioane; Q Cooper, W Genia; S Kepu, S Moore, B Alexander, R Simmons, J Horwill, R Elsom, D Pocock, B McCalman.

Replacements: S Fainga’a, P Cowan, N Sharpe, M Hodgson, S Higginbotham, N Phipps, A Fainga’a.

SOUTH AFRICA: G Aplon; B Basson, J de Jongh, W Olivier, L Mvovo, M Steyn, R Pienaar; A Johnson, D Rossouw, D Stegmann, J Muller, F van der Merwe, W Kruger, J Smit, D Greyling.

Replacements: C Ralepelle, CJ van der Linde, A Hargreaves, J Deysel, C McLeod, A Jacobs, P Lambie.

Referee: C Pollock (New Zealand).

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