Just a question of time – Warburton

Date published: November 9 2014

Wales captain Sam Warburton insists that it a question of when, and not if, they beat a leading southern hemisphere side.

Wales captain Sam Warburton lamented his team’s nail-biting 33-28 defeat by Australia on Saturday, but insisted that it was just a question of when, and not if, they beat a leading southern hemisphere side.

Wales outscored the Wallabies by four tries to three, but faultless fly-half Bernard Foley kicked 18 points to guide Australia to a 10th consecutive victory over the Welsh.

Since taking charge of Wales in 2007, coach Warren Gatland has won only one of 26 matches against the three southern hemisphere giants, a 21-18 victory over Australia in 2008.

But he and Warburton were keen to focus on the positives following a ninth successive defeat by the Wallabies in single figures.

“It’s the best game we’ve started in November internationals or Six Nations in a quite a long while,” Warburton said after Rhys Webb opened the scoring in just the second minute of a first-half that saw each team notch up three converted tries.

“We managed to match the intensity of Australia.

“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 the next nine or 10 matches and not go our way one time, it’s a just a matter of when.”

Gatland added that there was “a lot of things to build on.”

“In the short time we’ve had together, compared to a side that’s come out of the Rugby Championship, I thought we showed a huge amount of positives,” he said.

Generally, Gatland said, the Welsh defence was “excellent”.

“Structurally we missed one tackle on (Michael) Hooper and one on (Tevita) Kuridrani and then Rhys (Webb) threw the (intercept) pass.

“We created a lot of things ourselves,” he said.

“Four tries to three: we haven’t done that against one of these big teams for a while. We were comfortable with the ball.”