Time to end 'heartache' against Oz

2015-10-07 15:51
James Hook (Gallo Images)

Weybridge - Utility back James Hook says it is time for Wales to put an end to their dispiriting series of 10 successive losses to Australia and win the big one on Saturday to claim top spot in World Cup Pool A.

Hook - who was brought into the squad after a spate of injuries hit the Welsh back division following their superb win over hosts England late last month - said those defeats would serve as great motivation for the clash at Twickenham.

Frustratingly for the Welsh, they have come close to beating the Wallabies on the past nine occasions, only ending up as losers by nine points or fewer.

"The boys have spoken about how much heartache we've had against Australia so we have to go in with huge motivation," said Hook.

"Everyone is beatable, it's just about getting it right on the day."

In the last game the two sides played, in November 2014, Wales led 28-27 only for Australian flyhalf Bernard Foley to dash their hopes with a late drop goal and a penalty.

If the Welsh needed any further reminder of Foley's quality, he gave a masterclass as a playmaker and kicker last weekend against England, scoring 28 points in the 33-13 victory, which meant they became the first home nation to exit the World Cup at the pool stage.

"You expected Australia to play well, but not as well as they did," said Hook.

"A lot has been made over England being bad, but a lot of credit has to go to Australia.

"We're delighted - it was a great favour to us. It was probably the first and last time I've supported Australia.

"They were brilliant on the day, they have so much experience and quality in their team so it wasn't really a surprise."

Hook, who was a key member of the Wales squad that reached the 2011 World Cup semi-finals, said there had been a surge in self-belief and confidence within the Welsh camp since the win over England and to a lesser extent their subsequent hard-fought victory against Fiji.

"Momentum is huge, and the Wales win over England was massive," he said.

"You can see the confidence in the boys since I've arrived.

"This is another big test this week and then in the quarter-finals, and hopefully we can do something special."

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