Wales goes all out to break Wallabies’ will
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.”