Coach Robbie Deans insisted Monday Australia did not take Samoa lightly and said he expected the public outrage over the Wallabies' stunning weekend loss to the South Pacific island underdogs.
Australian newspapers ripped into the Wallabies, ranked second on the IRB standings, for their inept 23-32 defeat to the tenth-rated Samoans, described as the national team's worst-ever Test loss.
But Deans took the stunning loss and resulting fallout on the chin and was expected to strengthen his team for Saturday's Tri-Nations opener with South Africa in Sydney.
Deans, who has won 24 of his 44 Tests as Australia coach, agreed Monday that fans should expect more from the Wallabies.
"We expect it [the flak]. That's been our reaction," Deans told reporters.
"It wasn't a great experience."
Deans was criticised by a number of past players, headed by Wallaby great David Campese, for fielding an inexperienced number of players against Samoa and not treating the opposition with due respect.
Deans left out several of the victorious Queensland Reds team after the preceding weekend's Super 15 final and said the public's rancour should be directed at the performance, rather than the attitude.
"It's more about the fact that we lost. It's more about the fact that we didn't play well," he said.
"Had we not done either of those two things, the reaction may have been different.
"I don't know what other people were thinking, but we certainly weren't [complacent]... and we talked about that, internally and externally.
"From our perspective, we had no choice. The Reds didn't come in until Monday.
"They'd had an enormous campaign that had just finished... we then gave them a window to recover out of necessity - and obviously chose a combination based on that fact.
"We've obviously reviewed the game - now we're looking ahead."
Deans was non-committal about how much the shock loss will influence team selection for the Test with the Springboks, but is optimistic winger James O'Connor will be fit to return from a hamstring injury.
"[David] Pocock's good to go, James is doing OK but hasn't been given the green light quite yet," he said.
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