Lydiate on a revenge mission
December 1, 2011
Dan Lydiate played a starring role in Wales' stirring Rugby World Cup campaign © Getty Images
Dan Lydiate is grateful that he and his Wales colleagues have been presented with an immediate opportunity to avenge their defeat by Australia in the Rugby World Cup Bronze Final.
Warren Gatland's men were beaten 21-18 by the Wallabies in the third-place play-off in Auckland only six weeks ago and back-row Lydiate is exact some revenge when the two collide against in Cardiff on Saturday.
"It's good we get another chance to play Australia after the disappointment of that last game," Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Lydiate said.
"We had a really good chance to do something special at the World Cup, and it didn't happen. We have only got ourselves to blame for that.
"It is disappointing when you think what could have been, but you can't dwell on what has happened. You have got to push on, and this is a perfect opportunity for us on the weekend to build on what good did come from the World Cup.
"There are a lot of young guys in the squad, and that tournament gave them a lot of exposure at the highest level you can play at and on the biggest stage.
"Every game we go into now we go out there without any fear. We are not happy just to go out and compete, we are going out to get a result every game.
"For me personally this weekend, it's the coal-face, head down, backside up and get on with it. We want to put on a good show, especially with it being our first hit-up after the World Cup. We can't just say we were good in the last World Cup, we have got to keep pushing.
"The training we did before the World Cup has set the bar for us. We are going to have to keep pushing past that level if we want to keep improving, because there are going to be other teams in the world doing the same."
Lydiate admitted, though, that the Welsh players are also desperate to win to give Shane Williams, who will retire after the game, a fitting send-off in front of his adoring Welsh public.
"Shane is such a great guy to have as a senior figure for the young boys coming into the squad because he is so likeable and friendly," Lydiate said.
"The respect he has off all the other players is huge. Every time he gets the ball, you are always expecting something to happen. He is that kind of player that can produce something out of nothing."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.