Self-belief key to Wallabies attack against Fiji, says Dean Mumm

Wayne Smith From: The Australian June 04, 2010 12:00AM

WALLABIES second-rower Dean Mumm insists Australia should not be swayed from playing attacking rugby just because it is confronted by a Fijian side that would revel in a fast, open game.
Conventional wisdom has it that the best, certainly the safest way to defeat the flamboyant Fijians, is to grind them down by playing tight, structured field position rugby. Mumm, however, believes the Wallabies should display the courage of their convictions and not dumb down its rugby at Canberra Stadium tomorrow night.

"I can't say I speak for the rest of the team but I think the way forward for us is to play with self-belief," Mumm said. "Fiji are a wonderful side in open play but we're very focused on what we have to do. We've picked the team we want to play the game we want.

"If we want to play an attacking style, then we've got to focus on doing that as a side. It's not just the 10 and 12 (five-eighth and inside centre) who play that way. It's about the whole team committing to it and playing with that mindset."

Mumm comes into this Test on the back of an outstanding Super 14 campaign for the Waratahs. Indeed, so strongly did he contribute to the NSW campaign that influential website Planet Rugby named him in its Super 14 Team of the Tournament as Andries Bekker's second-row partner.

That means, astonishingly, that Mumm, 26, outpolled Bulls captain Victor Matfield and his Australia locking partner, Force skipper Nathan Sharpe, both of whom have been in vintage form in recent months.

Increasingly, Mumm's spot appears to be as the loosehead lock. Certainly, Waratahs coach Chris Hickey believes that is where Mumm has done his best work for NSW and the 20-Test veteran, who once expressed a preference for blindside flanker, now agrees with him.

"I think in terms of the opportunities available to me, they are far greater in the second row than at six," said Mumm, whose selection on the side of the scrum has been blocked since Rocky Elsom returned from Ireland to reclaim the position.

"I think my performances have been better in the four jumper than in the six. I'm feeling very comfortable in the second row and my focus is solely on performing there.

"Besides, my motto is that you play like a six in the second row most of the time anyway."