Rugby

More to life than tries: Deans

2012-10-26 07:43
Robbie Deans (AFP)
Sydney - Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says people are too hung up about his side's lack of tries, as Australia endures its leanest try-scoring season of the professional era.

Deans insists last Saturday's tryless 18-18 Bledisloe Cup draw with the All Blacks in Brisbane was a great spectacle and contained plenty of passages of attractive rugby.

The Wallabies have scored just 12 tries in 11 Tests this year, an average of 1.09 a game, compared to the All Blacks' 33 tries in 10 Tests at an average of 3.3.

Overall, Wallabies teams averaged 3.15 tries a Test since the game went professional in 1996 and the only other year they have scored fewer than two a match was also under Deans in 2009. Deans was asked yesterday if he'd like to see the Wallabies score more tries on the four-Test tour of Europe, which begins against France in Paris on November 10.

''Obviously you like to score tries but ultimately you like to win,'' Deans said. ''I think people get hung up with tries being scored and not scored. What you want to see is expansive and ambitious play and there was ample of … both of those elements last week.''

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen described the Brisbane Test as the ugliest game he'd been involved in but Deans disagrees the match was a shocker to watch. ''I don't think so. That was a great spectacle last week,'' Deans said. ''If you look at it from a written-word perspective, there were six penalties a side, it was a great contest. They deny you access to the tryline but the good thing was we were able to deny them access as well and that's the nature of international rugby now.''

Meanwhile, Scott Higginbotham has missed out on selection for the Wallabies' 30-man European tour after being suspended for his moment of madness against All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.

The timing of the two-match penalty led tour selectors to overlook Higginbotham and has effectively extended his suspension by another fortnight. Australia plays against France, England, Italy and Wales, with the first Test at Stade de France in Paris on November 10.

Openside breakaway David Pocock was named in the squad as he returns from a knee injury along with fellow stalwarts Stephen Moore (hamstring), Berrick Barnes (lung) and Digby Ioane (knee).

Higginbotham was disciplined for kneeing and headbutting McCaw in last Saturday's match. The suspension has cost him the chance of cementing the Wallabies' No 6 spot on the tour before a big 2013 season which includes hosting the British and Irish Lions. He will be on standby in case of injury.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  robbie deans  |  rugby
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