Rugby: Deans predicts third test surprises

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has predicted both Australia and the Lions will take some left-field approaches in Saturday night's third Test decider. Photo / AP.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has predicted both Australia and the Lions will take some left-field approaches in Saturday night's third Test decider. Photo / AP.

While there's just one cumulative point separating the combatants in two nip-and-tuck Tests, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has predicted both Australia and the Lions will take some left-field approaches in Saturday night's third Test decider.

Deans expects both sides to throw more caution to the wind to win the showpiece series on Saturday night, rather than sit back and hope not to lose.

The British and Irish Lions were guilty of that philosophy when they failed to seize the day in the second Test in Melbourne after leading 15-9 with 18 minutes left, instead attempting to close out the victory with a dour, field-position game.

But Deans is braced for some tricks and new tactics at ANZ Stadium.

"There will be surprises this week, no doubt,'' he said. ``This is the end, the final whistle - there's no coming back.

"The teams I suspect won't be conservative to that end.

"They won't want to walk off and wonder what if.''

Added to the 16-15 comeback win at Etihad Stadium, the Wallabies have all the momentum heading into the decider following skipper James Horwill's final clearance on a rucking charge from the first Test.

The Lions had originally referred Horwill's stomp on rival lock Alun Wyn Jones to the citing commissioner after their 23-21 first Test win but have said they're happy to let the matter rest after Tuesday's appeal verdict.

"It's irrelevant as far as we're concerned,'' tour manager Andy Irvine said in Noosa. ``In my opinion it didn't look very clever but I've seen a hell of a lot worse cases in my time.

"The judicial officer looked at all the replays. It's history now and water under the bridge.''

The Lions hope to have centre Jamie Roberts (hamstring), halfback Mike Phillips (knee) and prop Alex Corbisiero (calf) passed fit before they name their third Test team on Wednesday.

"They are all making good progress,'' Irvine said. ``The medics are reasonably hopeful.''

Coach Warren Gatland will also have to decide between either Sean O'Brien or Justin Tipuric to replace skipper Sam Warburton (hamstring) at openside flanker while Brian O'Driscoll is expected to take the captaincy.

The tourists have spent the first part of this week recharging the batteries in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast but the move has been criticised by former World Cup-winning England coach Clive Woodward, who believes they should be training instead of relaxing.

To make matters worse, it's been raining in Noosa while the sun has been shining in Sydney.

But Irvine stressed they had made the right move.

"I've been on five Lions tours now and believe me after the second Test the boys are physically and mentally exhausted - they need a break,'' he said.

"To be stuck in Sydney for six days, in a concrete jungle ... that's not quite as conducive as what we've got up here.''

-AAP

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