Australia v New Zealand, Tri-Nations, Melbourne, July 31
Mumm focused on All Blacks challenge
July 28, 2010
Mumm has yet to taste victory against the country of his birth © Getty Images
While a faulty pitch and leaked documents dominate the build-up to the first Bledisloe Cup clash of 2010, Australia lock Dean Mumm says the Wallabies are just focusing on the task at hand.
The Auckland-born 26-year-old told ESPN SportsCenter that he was more worried about the threat of the unbeaten All Blacks than the shoddy Etihad Stadium pitch. "I don't think it's going to make too much of an impact and it certainly won't impact on how we want to play," Mumm said. "It's the same for both sides, I think we have the significant challenge of the All Blacks to overcome before we worry about the pitch."
Australia wouldn't argue that they are rank underdogs against New Zealand for Saturday's Test in Melbourne having lost their last seven Tests in a row, while the country has not held the cup since 2002.
"It's been a while since we actually beat the All Blacks let alone held the Bledisloe Cup," Mumm said. "It's a significant focus for us to go head to head with them and challenge our physicality which we've been pretty exceptional at recently. If we don't take them on upfront in head to head battle we are going to struggle to get any sort of ascendancy, so I think that's how we're going to play it."
Mumm also said that there is no time to reflect on the 30-13 victory against the Springboks and what was Australia's most dominant performance in the Tri-Nations since coach Robbie Deans took the helm. The team are keen to move on and address the threat of their trans-Tasman rivals.
"I think it was a significant boost to our confidence. Previously we've been carried away when we've played well. It's nice to have a good win over South Africa because Australians always like to beat South Africans, but I think we need to be wary of what's happened in the past which has been over confidence. We need to pull ourselves back a bit and just focus on this weekend and how we want to play and not worry about the result."
Mumm will start just his second Test in four matches against the country of his birth, yet to taste victory against the All Blacks after playing in all four of Australia's Bledisloe Cup defeats last season.
"All my family are from New Zealand so it's a challenge for me to come up against what is essentially my home country. The Australia-New Zealand rivalry in immense in any sport and any time Australia can claim a victory it means a lot to all of us."