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'It's the hope that kills you': The 'great lesson' the Wallabies needed to learn

By Finn Morton
The Wallabies have endured a tough tour, losing reams of players, but showed resolve to beat Wales (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Former Australian centre Morgan Turinui has praised the Wallabies for doing the “jersey proud” against Wales, as they overcame incredible odds and a 21-point deficit in Cardiff.

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The Wallabies have had a tough year – they’ve failed to win multiple thrilling Tests that they should’ve been able to close out – and their season will be defined by these results.

Poor discipline, inconsistent team selections and injuries cost the Wallabies in some crunch matches throughout the year, and stopped them from taking their game to the next level.

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But with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, it’s time for Australian rugby fans to really get behind their team.

While they lost three games on the bounce during their end-of-season tour, the men in gold finished on a winning note at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

As it has done all year, poor discipline proved to be the Achilles heel for the Wallabies, as Jake Gordon and Tom Robertson were both shown yellow cards during the first half.

And Wales made the most of their advantage.

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The Welsh crowd burst into a frenzy as winger Rio Dyer scored early in the second term, before a Gareth Anscombe conversion extended the home sides lead to a seemingly unconquerable 21 points.

But the Wallabies didn’t drop their heads, they still believed, and they were ultimately able to fight their way back and win the test in the dying stages.

While the Wallabies began to develop some momentum, discipline began to hurt the Welsh and benefit the visitors.

Speaking on Between Two Posts, former international and Stan Sport broadcaster Turinui said the Wallabies were able to learn “a great lesson” about discipline.

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“It is a great lesson, it’s probably the best lesson this Wallaby group can have around discipline,” Turinui said on the podcast.

“Trailing the penalty count 11-six, had two yellow cards… The penalty count ended up 13-11, the last seven penalties in a row against (Wales) plus two yellow cards.

“That’s momentum having the referee on your side and it snowballed.”

Rising star Mark Nawaqanitawase lead the way for the Wallabies, as he crossed for a game changing double in the space of 10 minutes.

The impact of players off the bench, including Pete Samu and Tate McDermott, proved to be the difference for the men in gold as well.

Australia have played in some incredible Test matches over the years, including one of the greatest games of all time against the All Blacks in 2000.

More recently, the Wallabies completed a staggering comeback against Argentina in the 2018 Rugby Championship – but the win over Wales is arguably “more significant.”

“After the famous Checks spray at halftime, I think they were 24 points down possibly at halftime (against Argentina).

“Then the big one, obviously the massive comeback in 2000 where we just fell short against (Jonah) Lomu’s try at the end. That was an unsuccessful comeback but probably just as impressive even though they didn’t get there.

“In terms of context it’s more significant than the one in Argentina.

“I think it’s been a theme been a theme for you and I a couple of times, it’s the hope that kills you. It was even the case at the end.

“I talked about the Ireland game as well being tough to take because we needed it, the group needed it, the coaching staff needed it, the game needed it, the broadcaster needed it, we love seeing the Wallabies win.

“It wasn’t even Australia A, there were a couple of guys there that are behind a couple of players to wear the jersey that they hod on on the weekend.

“One thing they did do is they did that Wallaby jersey proud.”

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