An extensive injury list and the quality of the opposition mean Australia are the clear underdogs for Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup Test against a New Zealand side who have already clinched the inaugural Rugby Championship.
Yet the feeling remains that if any team is capable of climbing up off the canvas and pulling off a massive upset to break the All Blacks' run of 16 consecutive wins, it is the wounded Wallabies.
"We like a challenge. It probably fits the Australian psyche a little bit," Sharpe told reporters this morning.
"When (our) backs are to the wall the guys like to show their character.
"That's a strength and a weakness, and something we've got to get away from in Australian rugby.
"You can't rely on the emotional side of things to get you up each week. It doesn't allow you to build consistency in your performance.
"To be consistent you've got to be able to prepare the same way and perform with minimal degrees of difference in your performance."
Coach Robbie Deans accepted that emotion is part of professional sport. But that does not mean playing with 'heart' is a quality exclusive to Australia.
"It's easy to respond when you're under the pump. The key is being more than that," Deans said.
"That's what the Kiwis have mastered in many ways, hence they've retained their number one status for some time.
"Nothing we bring will be of any surprise to them this weekend."
Tomorrow night will mark the retiring Sharpe's last appearance in a gold jersey on Australian soil, with a capacity Suncorp Stadium crowd expected to spur him and the team on.
Deans admitted the celebration of such milestones can often serve as a distraction.
"It's a bit like the haka for the All Blacks. It's emotive. But they manage their emotions," he said.
"They use it to their advantage very well. It can be emotive when you're meeting the haka, but the key is to recognise it is what happens before the main event happens.
"All of those skills are an essential part of doing well in the game."
New Zealand's Cory Jane wants a commanding performance from the All Blacks to help lift the spirits of head coach Steve Hansen, who is grieving the passing of his father.
"He [Steve] is a tough man and it's been a tough week for him," Jane said.
"You don't want anyone to go through that, but he's turned up at training and still tried to be positive and helped the boys out while going through personal things after training.
"We've got to go out and play well and it probably adds a bit more when you want to do it for him as there's a great family environment in this team. And it is also Kevvy's [Mealamu] 100th Test."
Jane was on the right wing for both of the All Blacks' last two losses to the Wallabies - at Hong Kong in 2010 and Brisbane last year - and losing, especially to Australia, is not something he takes well.
He knows the expectation is that the All Blacks will win comfortably, but he says it will not be straightforward.
"The first two Test matches weren't easy. We got the wins but to us they weren't as easy as have been made out," he said.
"We're going over to play an Aussie team that beat us at the same place last year. I know people are talking about a dead rubber, but every time you play Australia, no matter what you are playing them at, you want to beat them.
"They'll come out humming. They've talked a lot this week about what kind of game they want to play and really throw it at us.
"We've looked at their team and what they want to do and now it is all about us putting our game plan on the paddock and making sure we improve from the South African game."
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