Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says his side can take momentum into August’s Rugby Championship after Saturday’s twenty-19 victory above Wales at Allianz Stadium completed an important clean-sweep of the Six Nations champions.
Immediately after a horror 9-6 loss to Scotland to open the June Test period, Deans and the Wallabies were below the blow-torch against the Welsh.
Australia’s cease-start efficiency in excellent situations on Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd in Sydney left plenty to be preferred, but for the second week in a row the Wallabies proved they are capable of showing composure under pressure.
Five-eighth Berrick Barnes was man of the match for the 2nd straight week, twice acquiring his side off the canvas in the 3rd Test when it looked as even though Wales would break their 43-year drought in Australia.
Players now go back to finish off the Super Rugby season, but Deans says the Wallabies have something to hold onto when they go into battle against the All Blacks on August 18.
“There is no doubt we’ll take some thing out of this, a thing of substance. To play against a side that is as excellent as the Welsh and to really experience a fair volume of adversity in each encounter but react effectively to it, we’ll take forward with us,” stated Deans.
“The leadership group’s carried out a fantastic task, that’s been evident at the death in each instance, so that stuff comes forward.”
In last week’s 2nd Test Barnes missed his try at a match-winning goal, and it was up to replacement Mike Harris to come on and clinch the game immediately after the siren.
But this week Barnes started and finished the task for his side – booting 5 penalties.
The NSW playmaker threw the crucial pass for Rob Horne’s attempt in the 65th minute and right after Leigh Halfpenny kicked Wales back into a 19-17 lead heading into the final ten minutes, Barnes’ 76th minute penalty proved the distinction.
“It was excellent to see Barnsey nail that one particular simply because just like last week it would have been a hard pill to swallow because he played really properly,” said Deans, who also praised Kurtley Beale in his return match as the Wallabies stretched their unbeaten run against Wales to seven matches.
Beale produced uncharacteristic problems throughout the match which put his side beneath pressure, but Deans stated there have been enough very good indicators in his return from a shoulder injury.
“He does that stuff other people can’t do and with a bit much more time in the saddle he’ll start off finishing some of people factors,” stated Deans.
A rugby record crowd at Allianz Stadium of 42,889 deserved a flowing game, but referee Craig Joubert blew 24 penalties.
Deans described the Wallabies as “impatient” and “dysfunctional” at the set-piece, as they lost line-outs cheaply and had been thoroughly outplayed at the scrum.
Wales went up 16-12 right after No.8 Ryan Jones scored with 20 minutes left, and Horne’s reply wasn’t without having controversy.
The outside centre virtually lost the ball in Jonathan Davies last-ditch tackle, but the TMO ruled he had manage.
Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley lost captain Sam Warburton to concussion in the 1st half, and lamented another near loss.
“Can we play them next week please?,” Howley said.
“Coming into this game absolutely everyone questioned how our mentality would be and I thought the group was excellent.”