Wales' Kiwi out to slay 'big enemy'
NOVEMBER SPOTLIGHT: New Zealand-born Hadleigh Parkes is confident Wales have enough fire-power to overcome Wallabies despite their dismal record against Micheal Cheika’s men.
Warren Gatland’s side have lost their last 13 encounters against the Wallabies with many of those being decided in the last couple of minutes.
The two sides will also meet in the pool stage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup
However, fresh from a 21-10 win over Scotland last weekend, the 31-year-old is confident they have enough to get the job done this time around.
“We want to get a win against a pretty big enemy of Welsh rugby this weekend,” The former Blues player revealed.
“Before the last few years, it had been a pretty long time since Wales had beaten South Africa.
“Now we’re on a pretty good run against them. It’s just a Test match and if we can control what we can control and play the way we’ve wanted to, in the last couple of years, then there’s no reason we can’t go out there, put in a good performance, and get the right result,”
Despite having been born in New Zealand, the Scarlets centre admits he has a huge amount of respect for Australian sport, especially their cricket side. Michael Cheika’s side may have lost seven of their last 10 test matches but Parkes is expecting a stern examination.
“I grew up fascinated by the Aussie cricket side and the amazing era they had,” said Parkes.
“You had to love Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. I loved the whole team; Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, and all their great batsman.
“Adam Gilchrest was special, as was their rugby team at that time with John Eales, George Gregan and Stephen Larkham. We want to get a win against a pretty big enemy of Welsh rugby this weekend.
“They’re competitors aren’t they, the Australians. There was their rugby team as well at that time with John Eales, George Gregan and Stephen Larkham.
“They are a very good, skilful team, one who are getting better and better at the moment with each match. It’s going to be a tough Test for us on Saturday.”
While Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards has placed a huge focus on the breakdown battle, especially going up against the liked of David Pocock and Michael Hooper.
“This game is going to be a real battle of the breakdown. We try to contest the ball a lot with our defensive structure and obviously Australia do the same,” said Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards.
“They have very famous players in those positions with Michael Hooper and David Pocock, but they have others who compete as well.
“If anyone watched us at the weekend against Scotland they would have seen we are trying to be very vigorous over the ball.
“There have been other great jacklers in our time, but Pocock’s technique is exemplary. He is a great threat and someone we have focused on in the build-up to the game.”
“In the past, they (Australia) have definitely got us off the bench. Their bench has been very strong and games have been won and lost in the last five to 10 minutes.
“I think we are stronger now and there is no doubt when you look at a rugby team, you see how strong it is when you look how good the bench is.
“I think our bench is looking definitely better than it has been in the past.”