Moore: Time to move on
July 20, 2011
Moore has retained his place in Robbie Deans' starting line-up for Saturday's Tri-Nations opener against South Africa © Getty Images
Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore has put Sunday's shock 32-23 defeat to Samoa behind him and is focused on the goal of winning the Tri-Nations and the World Cup.
Moore, one of eight players to retain his starting spot for Saturday's Tri-Nations opener against South Africa at ANZ Stadium, insists expectations within the group remain high despite the woeful start to their international year.
"We've got four games in the next little period and there's three pieces of silverware up for grabs in those four games so it's a massive challenge for us," Moore said. "You've got the Mandela Plate, the Bledisloe Cup and the Tri-Nations ... and if we really knuckle down in those four games we can potentially win those trophies, so that's something we're certainly focused on.
"The World Cup is down the track but there's plenty to do prior to that. We haven't won the Tri-Nations or the Bledisloe for a long time so it's a great opportunity for us to challenge for that again. I know most of the guys in the squad here are desperate to tick that off the list and that's something we're firmly focused on in the short term."
The Wallabies have not won the Tri-Nations trophy since 2001, while the Bledisloe Cup has been safely in the All Blacks' keeping since 2003. And Moore concedes his side will have to make significant improvements in order to achieve their lofty goals. The 28-year-old highlighted the breakdown as the main focus this weekend after the Samoans outmuscled the meek Wallabies last weekend.
"We've had a look at some stuff that we need to improve on around our breakdown and our ball carrying and I'm pretty confident we can improve on that stuff this Saturday," he said. "Certainly we were dominated around the breakdown area and they turned a lot of our ball over and slowed down a lot of our ball and made it very difficult to play the way we wanted to, and likewise they got pretty quick ball and were able to attack a bit off that.
"The breakdown is an area we've spoken a lot about over the last couple of days, just tidying that up and being a lot more physical around the contact area. These days in Test rugby the breakdown is so important and if we can fix that up I think it'll help the rest of our game."
Meanwhile, Moore says speculation Matt Giteau's Test career is over after he was left out of the 22 to face the Springboks is premature. Giteau took the brunt of criticism for the reverse to Samoa, but Moore said: "I suppose he's disappointed not to be playing this weekend but it is only for this weekend. He hasn't been selected for the Test but by no means does that mean his career is over or that he is never going to be picked again.
"I don't think we should be talking along those lines, he's a quality bloke and a quality player and I'm sure he'll keep working hard to push himself into the frame to be picked for the next Test."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall