‘Bring on the big boy’ – Dunning

Rotund Wallaby prop Matt Dunning, after one solid performance against the Springboks, is ready to take on the world.

Dunning arrived back in Australia on Monday, following Australia’s 22-19 Tri-Nations defeat at the hands of South Africa at the weekend, crowing for all the world to hear about how he can’t wait to tackle world’s top-rated front row forward – All Black tighthead prop Carl Hayman, in the Tri-Nations/Bledisloe Cup clash in Melbourne next Saturday (June 30).

While the most experts suggested that the Wallabies had simply managed to exploit the inexperience of rookie English referee Wayne Barnes, Dunning was instead beaming about his “best” Test performance even for the Wallabies.

Speaking to the Australian media upon the team’s return to Australia the once-maligned loosehead prop was quick to state that he has much more to offer and would relish the opportunity of taking on Hayman.

“I am just watching tapes now of Carl Hayman, because if I get picked for the game in Melbourne he will be the next challenge,” Dunning told RugbyHeaven website.

“He is world-class. He is the best. So we will be able to see how good [I am] after that, I guess.”

Dunning agreed the challenge stands as the possible hallmark of his 29-cap Test career, especially as he has never started in a Test against Hayman.

“I haven’t played a lot against him. I have been on the bench mainly when I’ve played the All Blacks. But I’m under no illusion as to how good he is,” he said.

“I just have to work really hard in the next two weeks, just the little technical things of my own that I can work on and hopefully do well against him.”

Dunning agreed with the Australian critics who felt that his 80-minute performance against the Springboks was his best in the Wallabies strip.

“I think it would have been,” he said.

“It was the first 80 minutes I have played at first-class level … maybe since 2005. The last 20 was pretty tiring though.”

But Dunning admitted the barbs directed at him, Wallabies tight-head Al Baxter and hooker Stephen Moore in South Africa had helped with the motivation.

“I read one paper in South Africa that said the Australian side is world-class, but the front row is an average Currie Cup [South Africa’s provincial competition] front row,” Dunning said. “So yeah … I took a bit of motivation from that. I wasn’t angry or bitter. But it helped to motivate.”


365 Digital

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