How badly do these two teams want to win the Webb Ellis trophy? Wow!!! These two teams had both already qualified for the knockout stages but that never diminished the desire to do everything they can to make their respective campaigns successful.
By now everyone knows that Australia clung on to a lead whilst having two players sin-binned, under enormous pressure by the Welsh, then eventuallly winning this titanic battle.
For me this Test sets the bar high, very high for any teams that now face them. Australia have had impressive performances playing some outstanding rugby along the way in the 2015 RWC but they had not yet been in a really tight situation. That is untill now. Wales stopped Australia from making it over the gainline, stopped them from quickening up the pace of the game and pressurised the Australian defence by dominating territory and holding onto possession for long periods.
When Australia first had Will Genia yellow carded and then 3 minutes later in the 69th minute Dean Mumm was yellow carded too, and with the Welsh camping on the Aussie 5 metre line, it seemed inevitable that Wales would score but somehow the Wallabies repelled the Welsh. Ben McCalman brought George North down just before the tryline. George North got up and tried to dive over to score a try but McCalman put his body on the line and got under George North stopping him from getting the ball down.
It’s wins like these against the odds that build team character and give a team the belief that they can do it. Australia dug deep and what was so positive for Australia is when they were squeezed, pressurised and made to feel uncomfortable, the Australians somehow found their way out of this extremely tight spot.
For Wales this match can work either to break their spirit or strengthen their resolve. Wales have had many disappointments against Southern Hemisphere opposition in the past but always come back, always looking to improve always dreaming of that day. What they have to realise is they have never been closer than now. They are truly one of the big boys. They only have a week to get over this loss and get their minds back in the right place because South Africa are their next opponents. Wales quite simply will have to be at their best if they want to advance to the semi-finals