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Dunning ready for Hayman duel

NZRU

Sportal.co.nz     20 Jun 2007     NZRU

The Australians held their own against the formidable South Africa scrum during Saturday's 22-19 defeat in Cape Town, but Dunning believes the Wallabies pack faces an even greater challenge against the All Blacks on June 30.

"The All Blacks have the best scrum in world rugby at the moment in my opinion, (but) I haven't seen a lot of northern hemisphere football in the last three months," Dunning said.

"The All Black scrum is working very well, I saw their game against France and there were some scary moments there for the Frenchmen."

Australia can relax this weekend as the Springboks take on the All Blacks in Durban, before Graham Henry's side travel to Melbourne for the third match of the competition.

The often-maligned Dunning is in the best form of his career with his disappointing tour of Europe with the Wallabies in late 2005 now a distant memory.

And the 28-year-old reckons the MCG encounter will provide the most accurate assessment of the state of his game.

"If I'm picked for the game in Melbourne he (Hayman) will be the next challenge and he is world class, he's the best, so we'll be able to see how good I am after that I guess," said the big loosehead prop.

Dunning himself has developed into a formidable opponent but the skilful front-rower has his feet firmly on the ground as he continues to work hard on several aspects of his game ahead of Australia's World Cup campaign.

And despite the Wallabies' impressive performance against the highly favoured Boks last week, Dunning insists there is plenty of room for improvement.

"It was good, I did some really good things but there were still plenty of areas I need to improve on," Dunning said.

"The scrum was positive from I think the whole pack's performance, but I've still got some improving (to do) there."

While Dunning credits much of his recent success to the guidance of the Wallabies coaching staff, he believes a new-found mental approach to the game has helped bolster his on-field performances.

"This year I've had a different outlook on football in general and I think it's working," Dunning said.