Wales stars looking ahead
November 30, 2008
Lock Ian Gough has backed Wales to kick on from their victory over the Wallabies © Getty Images
Ian Gough and Mark Jones both believe that Wales can use their victory over Australia as a springboard to further international success.
After disappointments against South Africa and New Zealand, the 2008 Six Nations champions finally became the first northern hemisphere team to overcome one of the Tri Nations giants this autumn.
Wales held out a late Wallabies charge to record a 21-18 win at the Millennium Stadium, and Gough hopes that the team can now establish themselves as one of the best in the world.
"It's pretty amazing to know we finally got that win," he said. "It was a day for big performances and we delivered. A lot has been said about the potential this team has got. And I feel we took a big step towards realising it with this victory.
"We didn't want to be known as the also-rans. This has proved we are up amongst the best and we hope teams will really be taking us seriously in the future."
He added: "We are still looking for that complete performance. We weren't happy against South Africa because that game was there to win. And then against New Zealand we proved we could play for 40 minutes, but it wasn't good enough.
"Hopefully this has shown we can play for 60 minutes. But now we have to nail the final 20 minutes."
Jones meanwhile believed that the margin of victory should have been wider.
"Without being too disrespectful to the Australians, I thought we could have won by more," said the Scarlets wing. "If Martyn (Williams) had managed to hold that pass in the first half, we could have been going in at the break even further ahead.
"But the bottom line is, it doesn't matter whether it was by 15 points, 20 points or three points. We know we've improved this month, and that would be the case whether we had won against Australia or not.
"The boys all put their bodies on the line and gave everything for their shirts. And the support was phenomenal from the crowd. They really were the 16th man out there."
Wales certainly earned the respect of Robbie Deans, Australia's coach, who tipped them to retain their Six Nations crown.
"We feel Wales are better equipped going into the Six Nations than the other sides we've played," he said. "You look at the number of line-breaks they created. You look at their resilience; they dug deep when they had to.
"They are all attributes that serve you well in a competition like that."