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Nawaqanitawase-inspired Wales win redemption for Italy loss says Rennie

Nawaqanitawase-inspired Wales win redemption for Italy loss says Rennie

2022 Autumn Nations Series, Principality Stadium, Wales 26/11/2022 Wales vs Australia Australia's Mark Nawaqanitawase celebrates after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie called Australia’s incredible 39-34 fightback win over Wales at Principality Stadium redemption for the disappointing loss to Italy two weeks ago.

In their final match of 2022 Australia found themselves 21 points behind their hosts with 28 minutes remaining after tries from Taulupe Faletau, Rio Dyer and a double from Jac Morgan.

But the depleted visitors registered 26 unanswered points to claim just their second win of their five-game Autumn Nations Series.

And Rennie was thrilled with the efforts of his 23-player squad, especially after many of them featured in the 28-27 Round 2 defeat in Florence.

“The boys never gave up,” said Rennie. “The impact off the bench was incredible and it was nice to win a tight one.

“We’ve got a good bunch of men. They’ve been with us for six weeks over here. Some of them only got time against Italy so it was an opportunity for redemption.

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“But we had people like Pete Samu, Tate McDermott who have played a lot of footy for us so it was great and their impact was massive.”

And in light of their Autumn Nations Series campaign, in which Australia also lost to Ireland and France by three and one-point margins respectively, Rennie was delighted to come out on the right side of a narrow result.

“I guess we could’ve won all five and lost all five. That’s the sort of tour it has been. It was good to win a tight one.

“We would’ve liked to have closed it out, but we gave away a penalty and gave them one more crack.

“We had control in France and we had control in Ireland and didn’t finish it off. So we’ve got some learning to do but this will help.”

Player of the match Mark Nawaqanitawase ran in two second-half tries to kickstart the comeback, before a penalty try brought them to within two points.

And with Ryan Elias and Justin Tipuric sat on the sidelines following yellow cards, Lachlan Lonergan capitalised with two minutes remaining to nudge Rennie’s men in front.

Nawaqanitawase called on fans to have as much faith in the team as the players do after a performance that exemplified a never-say-die attitude..

“As you can see from the other games, we’ve only lost by a point to some of the top teams. So don’t lose faith in us,” said Nawaqanitawase.

“We’ve got a strong team here and we back ourselves, so we hope everyone else backs us too.

“Us boys had a lot of belief. We were right in there. Obviously a few things in the first half like discipline and a few carries let us down.

“But we showed enough character and courage to come back in the second half and get the win in the end.”

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