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Deans threatens Wallabies with axe
Australia's rugby coach fumes after record loss.
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2008 15:45 GMT

Robbie Deans must quickly turn his player's attention to the Tri-Natons decider [GALLO/GETTY]
Australia coach Robbie Deans is threatening to wield the axe in response to the Wallabies' record 53-8 loss to South Africa.

The Australians will play New Zealand in Brisbane on September 13 in a match that will decide the Tri-Nations championship and Deans is demanding a better performance.

The New Zealand-born Deans has yet to finalise his team but has already indicated he was considering changing the starting side in a bid to erase the memories of last weekend's loss.

"It's a performance we're not proud of but we want to be proud of the next one," he said after the team's arrival at Sydney Airport on Monday.

"We are in the fortunate position of having a final, a one-off game where we can turn our season into something.

"It's the end of the beginning essentially and now we have a one-off encounter with everything at stake.

"One thing is for sure, we won't go in underestimating what's ahead of us and the other thing that is good, is I'd much rather go through that pain last week than in the coming weeks."

Living with it

Wallaby captain Stirling Mortlock said the players were still stunned by the magnitude of their defeat, which was Australia's heaviest losing margin against any opponent, but were determined to make amends against New Zealand.

"We have so much to play for next week," Mortlock said.

"I think everyone will be absolutely mentally where they need to be, in the right place.

"Only the group knows the feeling, but you've got to live with it for a while."

Source:
Agencies
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