Giteau addresses kicking concerns
August 28, 2009
Australia's Matt Giteau and head coach Robbie Deans enjoy some hijinks during a training session at the Subiaco Oval in Perth on August 28, 2009
Matt Giteau's poor kicking game has been no laughing matter for the Wallabies © Getty Images

Australia fly-half Matt Giteau has acknowledged that he needs to produce a vastly-improved kicking display in Saturday's must-win Tri-Nations clash with South Africa in Perth.

The Western Force ace has proven a reliable source of points for the Wallabies in this year's Tri-Nations but he has kicked poorly out of hand, and performed particularly badly in that regard in last weekend's 19-18 defeat by the All Blacks.

However, Giteau has gone back to basics in training this week and is confident that he can rediscover his best form against the Springboks. Certainly, he knows that it is imperative that he does given the opposition and the fact that Australia's first-choice inside centre, Berrick Barnes, who possesses a fine kicking game in his own right, has been ruled out of the game through injury.

"If you look at the game against the All Blacks, I was charged down a few times and that was more due to poor execution than anything," Giteau said.

"That's something I have worked on this week and it's a crucial part of the game, especially against a side like South Africa who kick the ball a lot and play that kicking game.

"With us losing a guy like Berrick Barnes, I do need to step up my kicking a lot and I feel in the last two Tests I haven't kicked as well as I would have liked.

"There are little technical things, like worrying about where the ball will land instead of focusing on the execution, so they are simple things that I've tried to work on.

"I do need to improve my kicking. Last year there was a fair bit of kicking and I had more clarity around what I was trying to do, and therefore was able to execute better. This week it has been about going back to a simpler process and hopefully it works on the weekend.

"I've always enjoyed running the ball and throwing it around, but it's all about being able to adapt when the opportunities aren't there to run."


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