Australia lock Dan Vickerman has accepted some of the blame for the Wallabies' poor line-out and said it's an area that must be addressed for this weekend's World Cup semifinal against New Zealand.
Australia's line-out became a liability during last weekend's epic 11-9 win against South Africa that knocked the defending champions out of the tournament.
The Wallabies lost five line-outs on their own throw, making for an alarming 14 lost line-outs in five games at the World Cup.
Vickerman, who calls Australia's line-out moves, said the set-piece must improve or New Zealand would put them to the sword at Eden Park on Sunday.
"It wasn't the best (against South Africa). We've got the luxury of this week to have the opportunity to fix that and focus on areas that we didn't do as well as we possibly," Vickerman said Tuesday.
"We will do that and work hard on it this week to get an improvement in that area," he added.
The 32-year-old said as the team's 'caller' he had to take some responsibility for the line-out shambles.
"First of all, South Africa defended it well, so you have to give them credit where credit's due and on the flip side of that we should make sure our timing is good," he said.
"As a caller you've got to improve areas that you let the group down and that's a big focus for us."
The Wallabies face another stern examination of their line-out prowess against the All Blacks, bidding for their first Webb Ellis Cup since winning the inaugural tournament, also on home soil, in 1987.
"The All Blacks have been efficient at line-out and they did well in this year's Tri-Nations against South Africa and us and in the last couple of years it's an area of the game that they pride themselves on," Vickerman said.
"They're pretty strong and they have some astute operators in Ali Williams and Sam Whitelock.
"If you're not on your game they'll put you to the sword so we have to focus hard on that area."
South African-born Vickerman, who moved to Australia in 2000, praised Springbok line-out ace Victor Matfield.
"Victor Matfield has been a performer for a long time and when you play against someone who's the best in the business it brings out the best in you," Vickerman said.
"So it's sad to see a bloke like that call it a day on the game, because he just adds so much and he's got the respect of the guys.
"It's just massive what he has achieved but you always enjoy playing against the best and he's right up there."
Vickerman, who is playing in his third and likely last World Cup, said Australia's against-the-odds victory over South Africa was special.
"The enthusiasm and the spirit came out, the defence won that game and that just speaks volumes about the group.
"Those wins are special and to do that and enjoy it is great."
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