Australia 20-19 Wales, Sydney, June 23
Deans wary of Wales backlash
June 23, 2012
Wales skipper Sam Warburton clings on to tackle Berrick Barnes © Getty Images
Australia head coach Robbie Deans expects Wales to be "lying in wait" for his side when they travel to the Millennium stadium in December after the Welsh suffered another agonising defeat to the Wallabies.
Deans' side completed a 3-0 series whitewash over Wales - following their narrow wins over the Welsh last autumn - with a 20-19 triumph in Sydney. It was another head-breaking defeat for the Welsh and Deans believes the bitter disappointment will fire them up for the next meeting.
"Both teams were capable of winning that game and credit to my blokes for showing some composure in critical moments at the end. They also showed great discipline because there was a lot happening off the ball and they didn't react," said Deans.
"Wales are a world-class side. They have a capacity to play, they have an ability to keep going for the full 80 minutes and they have threats all across the park.
"By the time we get over there at the end of the year they will be refreshed and lying in wait not only for us, but also the All Blacks. I think they have a good opportunity there."
Despite pushing the Wallabies so close in the second and third Tests, caretaker coach Rob Howley was frustrated by his side's inability to come up with the victory.
"It has been a fantastic series and we are going to improve as a result of this. We have been very close over the last few weeks, but we don't want any taps on the back - this team just wants to win," said Howley.
"The players turned around from last week, trained very well and their attitude was outstanding. But it is a 3-0 whitewash in the series and we won't be hiding away from that.
"It was disappointing in the last 10 minutes after taking the lead because we didn't make the most of the opportunities we had. We have to learn from that."
Howley added: "We showed real character to get field position in the second half. The line-out was much better than last week and our scrum got on top. But mastering those key moments is the important lesson to be learned. It has been a huge learning curve for so many of the players in the squad who have never been to Australia before.
"The bounce of the ball could have been kinder to us in the end. James Hook was five metres ahead in the race for the ball on their 22, but the ball went into touch and Leigh Halfpenny hit the upright with a kick.
"But we have to become a much better side in those moments that can clinch a game."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.