Mitchell wary of hurting Wales
November 27, 2012
Drew Mitchell could get a spot on the flanks for Saturday's match © PA Photos
Australia flyer Drew Mitchell is adamant that there will be no complacency in his side ahead of their match with Wales on Saturday.
The Wallabies are already assured of their spot in the top four of the IRB rankings ahead of the December draw for the 2015 World Cup while Wales are fighting to stay in the top eight. If Wales lose on Saturday, then they will fall out of the second batch of seedings and will go into the draw in the third-tier group, meaning they would have to play two of the teams in the top eight of the IRB rankings in their pool at the 2015 showpiece.
And form is on Australia's side. They bounced back from their hammering at the hands of France in the first of their four Tests to beat England and then Italy at the weekend. In contrast, Wales have fallen to three defeats - to Argentina, Samoa and New Zealand - but Mitchell is wary of over-confidence and is adamant that his team will have to be at their best if they are to down Warren Gatland's men.
"I know there's been times when I've been involved with the Wallabies and other teams where you've been on a trot where you haven't won so many games and you've been a bit disappointed with your performances and it can sometimes serve as a pretty good motivator," Mitchell told the BBC. "This is their last test match of the autumn as well and it's out last Test match of the season, so both teams are going to be motivated going out there.
"I think if we go in and under-estimate or assume it's going to be anything less than that then we might be going home a little bit disappointed."
And Australia will be no strangers to Wales. They have beaten Warren Gatland's men four times in the past 13 months, but Mitchell claims that that record will have no bearing on Saturday's match.
"Although we won three-nil earlier on this year in Australia there were a number of games that came down to a kick in the last minute or a point in time in the last five minutes where it could have gone either way," Mitchell said. "So I think more than anything Wales will want to go out there and finish well, they know they're capable of it, they've proved it to themselves that they are capable of playing well.
"Obviously they'll be trying to recapture that form or formula, whatever it was, that was working for them so we've got to go in there and expect they've got that right, and take it to them as well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin