Wallabies target trophies

The Wallabies believe the best way to bounce back from defeat to Samoa is to pick up a trio of trophies. [more]

Wallabies target trophies

The Wallabies believe the best way to bounce back from defeat to Samoa is to pick up a trio of trophies.

Beaten 32-23 by the Samoans last Sunday, Australia are now preparing for this year’s shortened Tri Nations campaign.

And with three separate crowns up for grabs across their four clashes with South Africa and New Zealand, hooker Stephen Moore says his team-mates couldn’t ask for any greater motivation ahead of the forthcoming World Cup.

"We've got four games in the next little period and there's three pieces of silverware up for grabs in those four games so it's a massive challenge for us," said Moore, who started the shock first-ever reverse to the Pacific Island nation four days ago.

"You've got the Mandela Plate, the Bledisloe Cup and the Tri-Nations… and if we really knuckle down in those four games we can potentially win those trophies, so that's something we're certainly focused on.

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"The World Cup is down the track but there's plenty to do prior to that. We haven't won the Tri-Nations or the Bledisloe for a long time so it's a great opportunity for us to challenge for that again.

"I know most of the guys in the squad here are desperate to tick that off the list and that's something we're firmly focused on in the short term."

But talking about trophies and actually winning them are different things entirely and there is no doubt that major improvements will need to be made if Australia are to claim a first Tri Nations crown since 2001.

Head coach Robbie Deans has made seven alterations to his starting XV for Saturday’s clash with South Africa but it will take an equally substantial change to the manner in which the Wallabies approach the breakdown if they are to gain the front-foot ball they were so desperately missing against Samoa.

"We were dominated around the breakdown area," added Moore, whose Irish-born parents would no doubt love to see him face the Lions in two years’ time.

"They turned a lot of our ball over and slowed down a lot of our ball and made it very difficult to play the way we wanted to. Likewise, they got pretty quick ball and were able to attack off that.

"We've had a look at some stuff that we need to improve on around our breakdown and our ball carrying and I'm pretty confident we can improve on that stuff this Saturday.

"The breakdown is an area we've spoken a lot about over the last couple of days, just tidying that up and being a lot more physical around the contact area. These days in Test rugby the breakdown is so important and if we can fix that up I think it'll help the rest of our game."

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