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Wallabies not surprised

Photosport

Sportal.co.nz     12 Jul 2006     Photosport

Holmes fully expected the 367kg South African pack, led by hooker John Smit and props Os du randt and CJ van der Linde, to try and dominate the Australian forwards in much the same way the All Blacks did in the Tri-Nations opener.

The Wallabies loosehead also said there were no excuses for Australia's performance in the 32-12 loss to the Kiwis.

"We didn't perform well in New Zealand, we know that and obviously they're going to attack us there after seeing that," Holmes told AAP.

"They're big guys but we've all played them at Super 14 so we know what to expect.

"We know they'll target our scrum and really come at us."

Holmes hoped the Australians would bounce back from Saturday's disappointing performance.

"You've always got to suck up a bit of pride after a performance like that," the 23-year-old said.

"Hopefully you retain your spot in the side and you can go out and perform much better."

Coach John Connolly told the players there were no excuses for a repeat performance.

"He laid it down which was fair enough," Holmes admitted.

"He didn't need to say a lot, we all knew we didn't perform well and he pointed out our bad points.

"There were some good points we well. It's been laid out in front of us. What we have to do now is go out there and do it.

"We're playing for our country so we really have to muscle up more and perform better."

Prop Rodney Blake is expected to come into the side after completing a physical two-hour training session on Tuesday.

So aggressive was the session that players were forced to pad up to protect themselves from injury.

Connolly, however, said that prop Guy Shepherdson was also a chance to be brought into the side.

"We were very happy with Shepherdson last week so the selection (of Blake) won't be a formality, he said.

"We're confident in Shepherdson's ability, he's a bit unique."