Wales keen to grasp the carrot but wary of Wallabies stick

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Pool C - Wales v Fiji - Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux, France - September 10, 2023 Wales' Jac Morgan in action with Fiji's Viliame Mata REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

LYON, France (Reuters) – Winger Josh Adams said Wales are highly motivated by the opportunity to clinch a place in the World Cup quarter-finals when they play Australia this weekend, but are also wary of the threat a desperate Wallabies side might present.

Two bonus-point wins combined with Australia’s loss to Fiji last weekend have put the Welsh firmly in the driving seat in Pool C and Adams said they were determined to drive home their advantage at OL Stadium on Sunday.

“It’s in our hands now and that’s a nice position to be in,” Adams told reporters on Saturday.

“It’s all depending on us and how we perform Sunday. We’re quite aware of the carrot at the end, and it’s motivated us a lot this week, if I’m honest. It’s the best week we’ve had, in my opinion.

“It’ll be a massive game for (Australia) as well and it will be a great contest.”

Adams was part of the Wales team that beat Australia 29-25 in the pool stage at the last World Cup and when the Welsh edged the Wallabies 29–28 in November 2021.

“We’ve has some close battles with them and I think improving on our first two performances will be really important for us,” the left winger said.

“Australia poses a very, very good aerial threat, which it will be very important to nullify … and their short side attack is pretty good as well so we need to be on the money defensively.”

Adams was absent when Australia won the last meeting between the two teams in November last year, scoring 26 unanswered points to rally from a 34-13 deficit in the second half in Cardiff.

Man-of-the-Match with two tries that day was Australian right winger Mark Nawaqanitawase, who Adams will be marking on Sunday.

“He’s been fantastic since he’s come into the Wallabies setup. What a terrific athlete first and foremost, he’s been a point of difference for Australia,” said Adams.

“He’s a big, big, big, big lad as well. I’m going to have to be on my money tomorrow to nullify that threat because he’s been excellent for Australia.”

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

More Stories