Larkham unhappy with form
Fly-half Stephen Larkham hasn't been happy with his own form despite Australia's triumphant march to the World Cup final.
Larkham scored a drop goal from almost 50 metres to steer the Wallabies to their epic 27-21 extra-time semi-final win over South Africa at the weekend, but wasn't satisfied with his overall contribution.
Laid back Larkham, whose team mates call him "Bernie" after the dead character in the movie "Weekend at Bernie's", is determined to make a bigger impact on Saturday's final against France at the Millennium Stadium.
The former fullback felt he played "less than smart" against his Springbok counterpart Jannie de Beer last Saturday and is aiming for a more complete performance against French stand-off Christophe Lamaison.
"There were lots of things I could tighten up on from Saturday," Larkham said. "I felt a little bit flat in the game, I guess, and I targetted Jannie de Beer and his field goal a lot.
"I really raced up a bit and left some gaps behind.
"It's something we're going to have to tighten up a little bit. We've all got to be a little bit smarter about it on Saturday.
"We can't just target the one player. The French have enough quality in their side that if one player's getting targeted too much, someone else can take over.
"Obviously we're going to be very wary of Lamaison, but centre Emile Ntamack is also a good player, as is flanker Olivier Magne. But to target them in particular would be crazy."
Larkham - four tests into a comeback after a year out of international rugby due to knee and thumb injuries - also knows he will need to be assertive in the din that is expected to reverberate around the 72,500 stadium.
"There were a few times there last week where we had a bit of static ball, and we ran out of options and I had to take it up myself. I also ended up turning it over once," said the 25-year-old ACT Brumbies star.
"It's just a matter of working with the players around me more - and making sure they know what I'm going to do.
"The blokes around me encourage me to talk a bit more, and I think the team functions a bit better when the five-eighth is talking. It's something I'm working on each game."