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Genia: We can win

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Sportal.co.nz     12 Oct 2011     Getty Images

Speaking at the team hotel in Auckland on Tuesday, Genia conceded Australia could have lost their quarter-final against the Springboks by 50 points after finishing a distant second in every statistical category.

The diminutive No.9 praised his team-mates following their heroic defensive effort and admits the miraculous 11-9 victory delivered a massive dose of self belief to the Wallabies camp.

Asked to rate Australia's chances of upsetting the tournament hosts this weekend, the straight-shooter said without hesitation:"100 percent confident, I don't know if I could be more confident.'

"I don't want to sound arrogant. I'm not that sort of a bloke, I'm not cocky or arrogant.

"But I really believe in the guys in this group that we can do it.

"We back each other all the way and we showed on the weekend that we can not only win through skill but win through team spirit and wanting to just do it for each other.

"And for that fact alone I have every confidence going into this game."

Australia must break a 25-year winless run at Eden Park to book a finals showdown with either Wales or France.

Genia expects third-string All Blacks flyhalf Aaron Cruden to play well but warned the Wallabies will look to expose the 178cm, 84kg playmaker in defence.

Cruden was originally left out of New Zealand's 30-man squad but is expected to wear the No.10 jumper this weekend following tournament-ending injuries to Dan Carter and Colin Slade.

"He's not the biggest bloke so hopefully we can run a bit of traffic at him and wear him out a little bit," Genia said.

"Aaron Cruden will still do the job if he's picked at 10. He's an attacking sort of player and he likes to take the line on and with guys outside him that he's familiar with like (Hurricanes team-mates) Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu, they've got a combination already.

"Dan Carter's world-class, I mean he's one of the best rugby players to ever play the game so if you don't have someone like that in your team you're obviously worse off for it.

"But when you've got someone like Cruden who's a very, very good player stepping in, then it doesn't make it that bad (for New Zealand)."

Meanwhile, Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale is 'touch and go' to line-up against the Kiwis after scans revealed he suffered a minor hamstring strain on the weekend.

He has not yet been ruled out of the clash but appears highly unlikely to recover in time.

James O'Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Quade Cooper are all candidates to replace Beale at No.15 if necessary.

Genia admits he'd prefer Cooper to remain at first five-eighths but says he's unsure how coach Robbie Deans will reshuffle the side in Beale's likely absence.