17 Jul 2009

Giteau says Wallabies need to be more ruthless

6:16 am on 17 July 2009

Wallabies linchpin Matt Giteau has demanded his side be more ruthless in Saturday's Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup opener at Eden Park, after two narrow misses against the All Blacks last campaign.

Australia won only one of their four clashes with the New Zealanders in 2008, but led before being run down in both Brisbane and Hong Kong, where they lost by just four and five points respectively.

"As a side we've just got to be more ruthless," Giteau said two days out from the game.

Getting close last year, as well as the loss of All Blacks champion five-eighth Dan Carter to injury and some indifferent lead-up form from the Kiwis, have the Wallabies confident they can end their six years in the Bledisloe Cup wilderness, starting with a first win in Auckland in 23 years.

Centre Berrick Barnes said the fade-outs - especially defensively - were something the team had been working on.

The one match that wasn't close in 2008 was the Eden Park clash, which the All Blacks won in clinical fashion, 39-10. In that game Carter pinned Australia to the corners and targeted individuals with pinpoint high balls in the win.

But Giteau, rated by many as the world's best No.10 in Carter's absence, is set to pick up where his rival left off on Saturday, having learnt a sizeable lesson about playing five-eighth last August.