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Giteau sounds warning to the Boks



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Australia’s jack of all trades has sounded a stark warning to South Africa ahead of Saturdays Tri Nations opener in Cape Town.

Giteau, who will be back in his familiar centre role having started his last six tests at scrum-half, has told the Boks they need to be ready to put up or shut up.

Having lost their least seven encounters on South African soil the Wallabies will need to be on top of their game if they are to challenge the in-form Springboks, who remain the only side to have beaten the All Blacks in the past two years.

“I’ve never won over here playing for the Wallabies, so every time you come over here you’ve just got that desire to win. You want it more,” Giteau told AAP.

“So I don’t feel under any more pressure. If anything, it feels like the South Africans are putting themselves under a fair bit of pressure.

“They’re obviously playing really good rugby, but I think they are talking it up a fair bit.

“So we’ve kind of got the underdog tag and that suits us pretty well. We obviously haven’t had the best preparation. We haven’t played that well. But we’re looking forward to a big game this week.”

While Giteau was quick to agree with George Gregan’s view that the current South African team is arguably the best for over a decade he refused to believe that they are invincible on home soil.

Giteau pointed to the success of the Western Force away to the Stormers and eventual champions the Bulls, in this seasons Super 14 as an indicator that the Wallabies are well within a chance at Newlands.

“With the Force, I’m two from two. One hundred per cent. So I’m looking for 100 per cent this year,” Giteau said.

The key, according to Giteau, is for Australia to land an early psychological blow to stem the Springbok momentum as well as silencing a passionate sell-out crowd.

“You definitely need a fast start. If you give them a sniff and obviously let them have a lead, then it’s going to be a lot tougher to chase them down.

“You’ve got to have a fast start and try and silence the crowd as much as you can.”

Having played a free flowing and almost care free attacking game in their last three tests, Wales twice and Fiji, Giteau has stressed the need for a more balanced and structured approach against a well drilled Boks defence who will pose a different test from the past few weeks.

“You need to be patient,” he said. “Obviously we’ve got to match them physically, and that’s not just through the forward pack but throughout the whole side.

“Once we do that, we’ve got to look to outsmart them. There’s different areas where we want to attack, but I think patience is the key.

“We’ve really got to build throughout the game. We showed in the first three Tests (of the year) that we didn’t have too much patience when we got close to the line.

“We tried to score off every phase, so that’s something we need to work on.”

Giteau, who has proved he is as dangerous at scrum-half as in his preferred role of centre, will line-up in between former ACT Brumbies team mates Stephen Larkham (fly-half) and Stirling Mortlock (outside centre). Despite a lack of rugby at inside centre he is confident the transition back into midfield will be a smooth one.

“Going on the first two Tests, whenever I moved back to inside centre, I felt completely comfortable,” he said.

“I felt like I knew my role really well and I felt at ease. I could just go out there and play my normal rugby. So I don’t think it will be too much of a challenge.

“The guys that I’ve got around me, I’ve obviously played a fair bit of football with. So it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.”
365 Digital

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