DAN Biggar stepped off the bench to land a dramatic late penalty to secure Wales their first victory over Australia since 2008. It was 9-6 at the finish after a scrappy game of few highlights.
But Wales ended on the right side of the scoreline, halting a run of 13 successive defeats against the Wallabies.
Here’s what Wales coach Warren Gatland had to say afterwards... WHAT QUALITIES DID YOU HAVE IN THAT MATCH THAT WAS DIFFERENT TO PREVIOUS GAMES? WARREN GATLAND: “I think we have learned from those experiences. I thought our composure last week (against Scotland) was pretty good and today our composure towards the end was good.
“There was no composure from me, I was struggling in the last few minutes, I thought, here we go, deja vu, we are going to lose it in the last minute.
“In fairness to the boys they dug deep and probably from a defensive point of view, it was the most comfortable that I have felt playing against Australia.
“Normally with their pace and intensity and runners, there are threats all over the place, but I thought we did a good job today and looked comfortable without the ball for long periods. That was really pleasing.” YOU HAVE SPOKEN THAT IS NOT ABOUT GETTING A MONKEY OFF YOUR BACK, BUT DO YOU FEEL IT IS NOW A MONKEY OFF YOUR BACK? WG: “We have spoken in the last couple of years about what we are trying to do in terms of the plans leading up to the World Cup and we feel we have followed through on everything we have said we wanted to do.
“We have created a lot competition with players disappointed that they are not in the team and we think we are going to be building nicely for the next 10 months.
“It is always nice to get that win against a southern hemisphere team so there is a bit of pressure on the guys who will take the field next week against Tonga.
“Hopefully, we will get ourselves another good performance.” WILL YOU BE PICKING A DIFFERENT XV V TONGA? WG: “Probably, I think we will make a lot of changes and that is because we feel pretty comfortable with the depth we have created and the competition within the squad.
“We didn’t always get that right. When we have made those changes against a tier two nation, the performance has been poor. We have snuck home and won games pretty ugly some times.
“We have more strength now and I think the players who take the field next week will give a great account of themselves.” WHAT IS THE INJURY NEWS? WG: “Leigh Halfpenny has got an HIA, he has to go through the protocols. George North had a dead leg, Tom Francis had a bit of a back strain, we knew that at half-time, that is why we made that change pretty early.” WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW ON THE LEIGH HALFPENNY INCIDENT? WG: “I thought it was reckless, I thought it was a penalty and potentially a yellow card. He is going to make contact with him because he has gone to charge the ball down, but he has kept that shoulder in that position.
“I asked whether he could have turned his back or put an arm out to soften the blow.
“I think everyone can make up their own opinion on what they see.
“The bad thing for Leigh is that he has got to go through the return to play protocols. We will make sure he is right.” DO YOU HAVE ISSUES WITH THE CONSISTENCY IN THOSE SORTS OF CALLS? WG: “No. It is a tough job out there for a referee.
“I was at a referees and coaches meeting in London during the week and we had some good discussion and debate about the game and player welfare and looking after the players. I just think it is a tough game to referee and a tough game to get things right.
“If a referee puts his hand up and says he made a mistake I am happy enough with that.
“I spoke to Wayne Barnes who was on the touchline against Scotland last week and I felt the first penalty against Nicky Smith was the wrong call in the scrum. I just said to Wayne can you have a look at that for me, we had a chat on Wednesday and he said ‘yes I got it wrong’. I am happy with that.” WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE IMPACT OF YOUR BENCH? WG: “I thought the bench was outstanding. It gave us some real impetus. I spoke to the players