Wallabies coach learns from All Blacks

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>     31 Aug 2006

The Springboks are yet to win a game in the 2006 Tri Nations series, but the Australian coach noted another improved performance from the South Africans when beaten 45-26 by the All Blacks in Pretoria last Saturday.

However, Connolly still thinks his team may be able to exploit some weaknesses in the South Africans play.

"I think we saw on the weekend they [the Springboks] played a bit more rugby at times and looked dangerous, but equally they made mistakes," Wallabies coach John Connolly said in The Australian on Wednesday.

"Most of New Zealand's tries came on the back of the Springboks giving them the ball."

Connolly said if the Springboks don't 'tighten their game up' Australia, like the All Blacks last weekend, would score points on the counter-attack, but he was also wary of the powerful South African pack.

"What they have got is a massive forward pack, good lineout. If they tighten their game up, they will be a real handful this week [against the All Blacks] and next week.

Waratahs prop Benn Robinson has firmed against Al Baxter to take Greg Holmes' front row spot and make his debut against the South Africans while Connolly has been confirmed midfielder Matt Giteau will be the back-up following Mat Rogers' knee injury.
The Australaian coach has reportedly been keen to trial Rogers at first five-eighths for the final Philips Tri Nations match but the dual international has been ruled out with minor knee surgery scheduled for this week.

Stephen Larkham will start in the No 10 jersey but Giteau will take over the playmaking duties should Larkham leave the field.