Deans wants Pocock protection
August 17, 2012
David Pocock was targeted by Wales © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has called on the match officials to keep a close eye on the breakdown on Saturday in their Bledisloe Cup encounter with the All Blacks.
One of the key match ups will be between Australia openside David Pocock and his counterpart Richie McCaw. Deans has spoken out about how his skipper has been targeted in the past and he wants the officials to give that area of the game special attention.
"It's not so much at the breakdown, it's laying after the breakdown is over," Deans said. "The ball is gone and the game is carrying on and players are being denied the ability to participate in that game.
"That's the touch judges' responsibility because the referee is watching the game, which is somewhere else."
Deans also wants the rest of his players to help out Pocock if indeed he is targeted but the All Blacks.
"David can't do it all by himself ... he needs people around him prepared to stand up and offer solutions because he's got his head down quite often," Deans said. "The directors in the game, guys like Will, Berrick and Kurtley at the back - we rely on them to provide those sort of initiatives."
While McCaw has played down the significance of the battle with Pocock saying: "I don't get too carried away with individual battles", his coach Steve Hansen has already started the war of words with his counterpart Deans. New Zealand-born Deans is a man under pressure going into the encounter and when talking about the potentially hostile environment that awaits the New Zealanders in Sydney, Hansen said: ''There's a lot of Kiwis living over here now … and Robbie's picking half of them already."
Deans, however, refused to bite on the bait saying: "Steve is a very good fisherman. He loves fishing".
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
The Wallabies showed flair in Dublin, but they still have a way to go if they are to do more than make up the numbers at the World Cup, writes Greg Growden
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton