Deans flags Wallabies changes

Getty Images     12 Aug 2009     Getty Images

The Wallabies found themselves on the wrong end of a 14-8 penalty count at Newlands, allowing sharp-shooter Morne Steyn to pot penalty goals from all corners of the ground on his way to a match-winning 24-point haul.

And although Deans conceded some of referee Alain Rolland's rulings left him scratching his head, the coach put his players on notice ahead of their next Investec Tri Nations fixture against the All Blacks in Sydney on August 22.

"Clearly if you keep going back to that trough and you can't address that habit (of conceding silly penalties) there's only one other way of addressing it, and that's to remove those that are drinking from that trough," Deans said at Sydney airport on Monday afternoon.

Despite his stern warning, Deans labelled the performance a step in the right direction.

"There's two key areas where we came up short, one was discipline the other's lineout and the rest of the game we actually out performed them if you look at the detail and the facts," he argued.

"And if we master that area I think it's evident that we're not far away. To play with 13 men for a large part of that game against a side like the Springboks and yet still be within cooee at the end was a remarkable effort."

Asked to pin-point what when wrong in the lineout after the Springboks stole seven of the Wallabies' throws, an honest Deans replied: "We essentially froze and that's what pressure does to you."

"They (the Springboks) are a capable lineout and they create doubts in your own mind through their presence and their history of performance in that area."

The Wallabies occupy the foot of the ladder having compiled one bonus point in their opening loss to the All Blacks, who sit on four points after three matches, with the Springboks out in front on 12 points after three consecutive victories at home.

But Deans strongly rejected suggestions his side is already out of the race for the trophy it last held in 2001.

"Obviously the Springboks are in a great position, that's evident," he said.

"History would suggest you've got to win away from home and I guess all their fixtures have been at home to date so that's in front of them."

"They're perfectly placed but every week's a different contest and who knows what's ahead of us."

"We'll just take it one at a time - there's just no point in doing more than that - and try and maximise our next outing in Sydney against the All Blacks."