Wallabies eye chinks in All Blacks lineout

NZPA     19 Aug 2009    

Senior lock Nathan Sharpe said he was confident the Wallabies' lineout could disrupt their opponents, and hoped ANZ Stadium could provide a cauldron-like atmosphere for the visitors.

"The lineout's an area where we've been strong in the past so there's no point in getting too over anxious about it. Several things went wrong on top of each other and it had a bearing on the result," Sharpe said of their 17-29 loss in Cape Town.

"There hasn't been a major overhaul.

"South Africa's got the strongest defensive lineout in the world. They've got four guys over six foot five and they're going to put pressure on across the board.

"The All Blacks felt that pressure (during back-to-back defeats) as well. That's an area they'll be working on."

Andrew Hore will be the starting thrower for the All Blacks, with Chiefs hooker Aled de Malmanche set to come off the bench in the absence of the injured Keven Mealamu.

The All Blacks name their team tomorrow, and Crusaders loose forward Kieran Read remains a chance to usurp Rodney So'oialo at No 8 to add some lineout strength.

Sharpe meanwhile hoped the Wallabies could use their home ground as a fortress, similar to Loftus Versfeld in South Africa or Auckland's Eden Park, where the Wallabies haven't won since 1986.

The All Blacks lost last year's test 19-34 to the Wallabies here and have lost three of their last four at the stadium which hosted the 2000 Olympics and also their 2003 World Cup semifinal exit.

"The guys are excited about playing our first big test on home soil. The two away tests were incredibly disappointing for the team and we'd love to turn that around here," Sharpe said.

"In every code home ground advantage seems to be fairly prolific at the moment. There's plenty of teams that are doing well at home and I'm not too sure why that is.

"It's the same here for us in Sydney and the guys are very excited about a big test at home. You want to make it as hostile environment as you can."