Australia 20 -19 Wales
Howley: lessons to be learned
June 24, 2012
Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley expects Wales to learn the lessons from three-Test loss to Australia © Getty Images
Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley is hopeful that his players can learn the lessons from a three-Test series whitewash and put them to good use in the future.
For the second week in succession Wales lost to a late Australia penalty when Berrick Barnes kicked the winning points with five minutes remaining. It secured a 20-19 victory for the hosts that leaves the Six Nations champions empty-handed from their tour down under.
"I am immensely proud of this group of players and there are a lot of good ingredients that have come out of the last three weeks that should make them feel pretty proud of their efforts," Howley said. "There were moments in the match we could have controlled better. But those moments will come again in the autumn series and the Six Nations and, hopefully, we will have learned how to make the most of them."
Wales lost the first Test 27-19 and lost the second when Mike Harris kicked a penalty after the final whistle to wrap up a series win for the Australians with a 25-23 win. In both the second and third Tests Wales' indiscipline in the closing stages let them down and allowed the Wallabies the chance to seal a late victory.
The series loss means that Wales have not won in Australia since 1969 and have lost to them five times in the last 12 months. The sides next meet on December 1 in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
"A lot of things happened in the last 10 minutes and it was a new experience for a lot of these young players, who hadn't played in a three-Test series before," Howley said. "It has been a fantastic learning curve for us discovering how to get back up for games week in, week out. The respect we have had over here has been great, but this Welsh team is better than that. We want to win international games and the one thing you need to do when you gain respect is come to places like Australia and win."
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