Wallabies expect Welsh backlash
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 09:40
The Wallabies are expecting Wales to come hard at them this weekend after suffering six consecutive defeats including their three Tests in Australia in June.
Since winning the Six Nations Grand Slam earlier in the year Wales' fortunes have taken a dive, with losses to Argentina, Samoa and the All Blacks on consecutive weekends at the Millenium Stadium making for a fairly depressing November.
With injuries having hit both squads hard, the clash with the Wallabies this weekend is shaping up to be a test of character and Australian flank Scott Higginbotham is expecting the home side to throw the kitchen sink at them in an attempt to gain some revenge for their three defeats in June.
He told AAP: "They were close games and we got up in all three of them and I'm sure they'll want a bit of payback.
"It's tough playing a series like that where it's the same team three straight weeks. You get a lot of time to watch each other's game and by the time you get to that second and third match it's always going to be a close score because you do know each other so well.
"You can come pretty close to predicting what a team is going to do," he explained.
The last time Wales beat Australia was back in 2008, and Higginbotham is expecting them to be particularly fired up after falling short against the All Blacks last week.
"They'll be right up for it, especially after that game against the All Blacks on the weekend but we're here to get the job done as well," said Higginbotham who recently returned from suspension.
"They are a tough side to play and they play a similar brand of football to the southern hemisphere game. It's very quick and they attack the opposition breakdown out wide and in close.
"They are a very physical team and that's the type of team I like to play against," he added.
Although it was something of a surprise when the Welsh fell short against Argentina and Samoa Higginbotham expects them to bounce back this weekend.
"It was a bit disappointing to see them go down to sides that I thought they'd win against recently.
"Just because a team is off form doesn't mean they can't change that in a week. Our boys did that from the French to the English game and we won't be taking them lightly," he said.
Winger Drew Mitchell, with an impressive try-scoring record of 30 in 62 international appearances, said the Wallabies would be taking the pitch at the Millennium Stadium "absolutely ready to rip into Wales".
"We want to finish this tour on a positive note and do everything we can to win our final Test of the year.
"We're looking to finish with a bang, there's no next week for us."
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