Australia v USA preview

Updated: September 21, 2011

After their shock defeat to Ireland, Australia go in search of a moral boosting win when they face Eddie O’Sullivan’s America side in their Pool C clash at Wellington Regional Stadium on Friday morning, kick off 9.30am Irish time.

The 15-6 defeat to Ireland has now left The Wallabies needing to win their remaining two pool games to advance to the quarter finals, where they will most likely face South Africa.

Coach Robbie Deans has reshuffled his deck for the meeting against America. Scrum half Will Genia, 23, will captain the side for the first time, and will be Australia’s 78th rugby Test skipper. Squad captain James Horwill will sit out the match to rest a sore shoulder.

In total Deans has made nine changes from the side that lost to Ireland. James O’Connor misses the match with a hamstring strain, while openside David Pocock is again missing with the back strain that kept him out of the Ireland game.

Despite making nine changes, Deans is not taking America lightly and expects a physical game on Friday morning. “It’s exactly the opposite. We are according the USA full respect by opting for the changes we have made, in order to have a totally fresh and focused team,” he said.

Deans will be looking for a huge sTep up on last weekends performance and will be looking for more intensity at the breakdown and the scrum where Australila were bullied by Ireland.

He will also be looking to Quade Cooper to have a much more dominating presence against America. The fly half didn’t have his best game last weekend and knows himself that a big performance is due from himself and the team as a whole.

America also have rung the changes for the game, as they only have a four day turn around before they meet Italy in their final pool game. Eddie O’Sullivan has made fourteen changes from his starting line up that defeated Russia 13-6 in New Plymouth last week.

Brisbane-born Tim Usasz will captain the side and O’Sullivan is confident that his side will be able to challenge the Tri-Nations champions.

“When Australia come at us, they’ll want to create that landscape where they can move the ball around in space and it will be up to us to try to take that away from them.” he added.

“Sometimes you don’t and then you’ve got to go into scramble and fight for your life to stem the flow.

“They’ll run it a lot off their half back, they’ll run it off their 10, and if you break down too much they go out the back door and get you in the corner. There’s no mystery to what they’ll do.”

Predication: Australia

1. James Slipper
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau
3. Ben Alexander
4. Rob Simmons
5. Nathan Sharpe
6. Rocky Elsom
7. Ben McCalman
8. Wycliff Palu
9. Will Genia (c)
10. Quade Cooper
11. Drew Mitchell
12. Robert Horne
13. Anthony Fainga’a
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
15. Kurtley Beale


16. Stephen Moore
17. Sekope Kepu
18. Dan Vickerman
19. Radike Samo
20. Luke Burgess
21. Berrick Barnes
22. Pat McCabe

1. Shawn Pittman
2. Phil Thiel
3. Eric Fry
4. Scott LaValla
5. Hayden Smith
6. Inaki Basauri
7. Pat Danahy
8. JJ Gagiano
9. Tim Usasz (c)
10. Nese Malifa
11. Kevin Swiryn
12. Junior Sifa
13. Tai Enosa
14. Colin Hawley
15. Blaine Scully


16. Brian McClenahan
17. Matekitonga Moeakiola
18. Louis Stanfill
19. Nic Johnson
20. Mike Petri
21. Roland Suniula
22. Chris Wyles

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