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Coaches deny World Cup blow after Australia win 10 in a row.

Both Wales and Australia deny a psychological blow has been struck after the Wallabies registered a tenth straight success over Wales in a 33-28 win in the opening game of the Autumn Series.

Saturday’s opening game of the 2014 series was the last time the sides will meet before they go head to head in their World Cup 2015 pool – a pool which also includes England and will only see two teams progress to the knockout stages.

Australia’s winning run stretches back to 29th Nov 2008 although recent meetings have left little to choose between the sides – the last five meetings have all ended with scores of five points or less between them.

But that record means little according to both camps for what they say will be a completely different encounter in terms of form, preparation and atmosphere.

The defeat was the 10th in a row suffered by Wales against Australia. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

“When we face them in the World Cup it’s a different beast, a different animal that’s going to be facing them in that pool game’ said Wales coach Warren Gatland.

‘Our time together will be a big upward curve and we’ll continue to get better. There’s a lot of things we’ve prioritised in this campaign and there’s some things we didn’t cover.

‘I can come away from that and say there’s a big tick in a lot of things to continue to work on and knowing the way we’ve prepared I’m feeling confident that we’ll get better as this campaign goes on. ‘

The 28-33 defeat saw a flurry of first half tries before Australia fly half Bernard Foley tipped the game in the visitors favour with a drop goal in the 73rd minute, before a kicking third penalty to leave the game out of Wales’ grasp.

So with Wales so close yet so far once again does a tenth straight defeat leave a scar ahead of next year’s World Cup?

‘No it doesn’t’ according to Wales captain Sam Warburton.

‘It’s the best game that we’ve started in an autumn, or a Six Nations campaign for that matter, for quite a long time I think. I can’t remember starting that well.

‘Everyone knows in the squad and the management that we’ve got the ability to beat these teams. They’re not going to be consistently this close for the next nine or ten matches and not go our way one time. It’s just a matter of when, not if.

‘I think going in on Monday it will be a lot more positive. There was a heck of a lot of good from that game.

‘I think when we do have a look at the tape I think they’ll be a lot of pleasing signs from that game.

Bernard Foley starred in Australia's win. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

So with Wales not willing to loiter on another Australian disappointment it is left to the Wallabies themselves to rub salt into the ten game long wound. But not so, at least from newly installed Head Coach Michael Cheika who insists no momentum will lie with his side when the teams meet at Twickenham. It is not, he says, round one to the Wallabies.

“No. Not at all.

‘I’ve said several times that I’ve never been to a rugby game that you’ve played in and it’s had an influence on a game that’s going to be played ten months later. It’s a totally unique occasion.

‘We won today. It’s great. The guys worked hard and our next focus is to get on a try and beat the French.

‘If we start thinking about that game there we’re only going to lose the games in between.

‘We’ll just concentrate on paying well, doing our bit, and when that game comes, we’ll do our best again.

Halfpenny and Biggar a doubt for Fiji

Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar are both doubts for next week’s second game of the autumn series against Fiji in Cardiff after injuries forced them out of Wales 33-28 defeat to Australia.

Biggar limped out of today's game with a groin strain. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Halfpenny left the field after what Head Coach Warren Gatland described as a ‘knock’ to his head in the build up to Wales third try.

Gatland however stressed that the decision to remove him from the game was only precautionary and a full concussion assessment will be made after the match.

Biggar limped off in the second half of the game at the Millennium Stadium with a groin strain, the extent of which is yet to be disclosed, but looks likely to keep him out of action for several days.

Warren Gatland said both players will be assessed when the side meets up on Monday but that he will look to call up another fly half as cover for Biggar.

"We’ll have to sit down as a group and bring another 10 in next week...We’ll have to see how the next 48 hours go (for Leigh Halfpenny), probably a cog’ test for concussion just to see how he goes but probably for that it’s just a opportunity for us to give him a rest next week anyway."

– Warren Gatland, Wales Head Coach

Gatland gives reaction to Wales loss against Australia

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has given his reaction to Wales' 28 - 33 loss against Australia.

"It's frustrating" he said.

"I'm not happy with the result, but I'm pretty happy with the performance... the way we played and how positively we played"

"I thought we showed a huge amount of positives we need and something we can build on for the rest of the campaign".


Australia team to face Wales named

Australia coach Michael Cheika. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP/PA Images

Australia coach Michael Cheika has made two changes from the side beaten 29-28 by New Zealand last month for Saturday's Test match against Wales in Cardiff.

Melbourne Rebels flanker Sean McMahon will make his international debut, replacing an injured Scott Fardy, while number eight Ben McCalman takes over from Scott Higginbotham, who is also sidelined through injury.

But the team is otherwise unaltered from that which suffered an agonising Bledisloe Cup loss three weeks ago, which means star half-backs Quade Cooper and Will Genia are on bench duty after starting against the Barbarians last Saturday.

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