Wales goes all out to break Wal­la­bies’ will

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JAMIE PAN­DARAM

WALES have rock­eted to third in the world rank­ings and peeled off six straight Test vic­to­ries, but coach War­ren Gat­land knows that break­ing Aus­tralia’s decade- long streak over his side to­day will be vi­tal for their World Cup chances.

On Septem­ber 29 next year, the Wal­la­bies and Wales will face off in Tokyo in a match that should ul­ti­mately de­ter­mine the win­ner of Pool D.

This week­end in Cardiff, Wales get the chance to break the 13- match win­ning streak Aus­tralia holds over them, and Gat­land says vic­tory would give his side a huge psy­cho­log­i­cal edge for the World Cup en­counter.

“We’ve got to pre­pare the best we can to get that re­sult and beat them, and that will be psy­cho­log­i­cally im­por­tant for us next year be­cause ev­ery­one’s pretty aware that if you win our group in the World Cup you go into po­ten­tially a more favourable side of the draw,” Gat­land said.

“We’re well aware of that, and win­ning on Satur­day hope­fully will give us a spring­board to­wards build­ing on that con­fi­dence.”

Most of the 13 de­feats Wales have suf­fered to Aus­tralia have been de­cided by seven points or less, and the Wal­la­bies have made a habit of scor­ing in the dy­ing stages to clinch vic­tory.

To com­bat this, Gat­land has stacked his bench with ex­pe­ri­ence, sur­pris­ingly leav­ing Brit- ish and Ir­ish Lions stars Dan Big­gar and Liam Wil­liams to come off the pine.

“It’s def­i­nitely one of the strong­est benches we’ve had for a long time,” Gat­land said.

“There was talk about the im­pact and the im­por­tance of the bench in this game.

“Just be­ing clin­i­cal in that last 10 min­utes, we’ve gone through some of those ex­am­ples over re­cent years where we haven’t read a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion or play­ers have given away stupid penal­ties or we haven’t de­fended smartly.

“We’ve been gut­ted af­ter a few games that we’ve been in po­si­tions to win and we’ve thrown away win­ning po­si­tions. We should have beaten Aus­tralia on a few oc­ca­sions over re­cent years and haven’t man­aged to do it. We want to put that ledger right.”

War­ren Gat­land.

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