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How Samu Kerevi rates Wales as Wallabies World Cup hangs in balance

By PA
Samu Kerevi of the Wallabies reacts at the final siren during game three of the International Test match series between the Australia Wallabies and England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on July 16, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Samu Kerevi says Australia must put outside pressures to one side when they scrap for Rugby World Cup survival on Sunday.

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The Wallabies have to beat Wales in Lyon or their hopes of avoiding a first pool-stage exit in World Cup history will effectively be over.

A 22-15 defeat to Fiji in Pool C last weekend means they can afford no further losses.

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Even even if they defeat Wales for a sixth time in eight World Cup meetings – and then see off final opponents Portugal – it still might not be enough to progress.

“The pressure comes from within this week, and the pressure from outside we have to put aside,” Wallabies centre Kerevi said.

“Wales will still be pretty physical. They have one of the great world-class 10s (Dan Biggar) and a great forward pack.

“They are a tough team, they grind it out for the whole 80 minutes. You saw that against Fiji where they took a great lead and Fiji came back, but they stayed in it.

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“We understand the toughness about Wales. They are a team that have been together for quite a while and have that experience.

“We need to bring that intensity early in the game, and we can’t wait for the game to come. We have to take it to them and apply pressure.

“Fiji were outstanding (against Australia), their back-line outplayed us and full credit to them.”

Kerevi was yellow-carded when Australia played Wales at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Wales won a thrilling encounter 29-25 in Tokyo, which propelled them towards topping the group. Australia, as runners-up, also qualified for the knockout phase.

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Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
2
Average Points scored
27
21
First try wins
40%
Home team wins
40%

“It’s all a blur now,” he added. “We didn’t play to our full potential and there were a few little incidents that were bizarre to me.

“This is another important game, and it’s always an important game against Wales. No game is guaranteed, and it’s a really exciting challenge to turn the tide on what happened last time.”

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