Minor work needed - Sharpe
Minor modifications will see the winless Wallabies back on track when they host South Africa in their Rugby Championship clash in Perth on Saturday, lock Nathan Sharpe said on Monday.
The experienced second row has featured in Australia's two disappointing defeats to trans-Tasman rivals and World Cup winners New Zealand in the opening fortnight of the expanded tournament, which also features Argentina.
The Wallabies were criticised for their error-strewn display in Sydney where they lost 27-19 on August 18, while calls for the sacking of coach Robbie Deans grew in local media after their 22-0 loss in Auckland the following week.
Sharpe, however, believes the Wallabies can improve quicker by avoiding sweeping changes.
"The guys are all proud Australians and we want to make sure that the next time we take to the track we get a victory," Sharpe told reporters in Perth.
"There's plenty for us to do in terms of getting things right on the field, but minor adjustments will see a big difference."
The Wallabies have been hit hard in their forward pack with captain and lock James Horwill ruled out of the tournament with injury, then his understudy, flanker David Pocock, sidelined after the Sydney test following knee surgery.
Another second row, Dan Vickerman, was forced to retire last week after failing to overcome a stress fracture in his leg.
Sharpe, who has played more than 100 tests for the Wallabies, postponed retirement plans to fill the void and also skippered the side in Auckland when the latest captain, scrumhalf Will Genia, was sin binned.
The 34-year-old has also pitched in with the Wallabies only try of the tournament, as their much touted backline has struggled to fire against the suffocating defence of the highly-impressive All Blacks.
South Africa, though, should not provide as stern opposition with the Springboks adapting to the new methods of coach Heyneke Meyer, who was only appointed this year.
The Springboks were too good for Argentina in Cape Town on the opening week but struggled for long periods in the return match in Mendoza which ended in a 16-16 draw.
"This is very much a new Springboks side with a new coach and all the rest of it," said Sharpe.
"The one thing they will bring is that national pride and they will be strong up front and on the back of that they've got very good tactical kicking skills."
The match will be Sharpe's last in Perth, where he played Super Rugby for several seasons with the Western Force, but sentiment was not on his mind.
"It will be great to play well and win the game in what will be my last game in Perth," the lock said.
"This weekend I'm probably a bit over farewells to be honest. I will just be happy with the win."