Beale: Wales match will be epic
KURTLEY Beale says the Wallabies will have to dramatically lift their game in attack if they want to beat Wales in Sunday's World Cup blockbuster.
It's a match that both teams are desperate to win to earn an easier path to the final but despite scoring six tries in the opening match against Fiji, Beale has warned his teammates they need to be even better this week if they want to avenge last year's 9-6 loss to Wales in Cardiff when the Wallabies failed to score a try.
"I feel like their defence has gone up another level," Beale said.
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"Over the tournament, all teams are focusing on their defence, so it's going to be a little bit harder to crack.
"It places more importance on holding on to the ball, building pressure that way and hopefully matching them with fitness. It's always going to go down to the wire. We know that and we are prepared for that."
Although the Wallabies ran out comfortable winners against Fiji, it wasn't until the second half when fresh legs were introduced that they finally got on top and Beale said he was expecting the bench to have a big role again with the game expected to be tight.
And Beale knows Wales play a very different game, kicking the ball relentlessly to put the opposition under pressure, as they broke a 14-game losing streak last year.
"I think it's up to the team who wants it the most and is willing to go for the full 80 minutes," he said.
"They got us last year. The battles are always epic
"As a player you always look forward to playing Wales. As nations we bring the best out of each other."
Australia beat Wales in the pool stage at the last World Cup after producing one of their best defensive efforts in years and are expecting to have to do the same this weekend.
While the kick-happy Welsh aren't as flashy as some other teams, they are masters of retaining possession and strangling the life out of their opponents.
"We know Wales like to hang on to the ball," Australia's defence coach Nathan Grey said.
"They scored a try against England just recently going 35 phases in their attacking half, so they are very comfortable hanging on to the ball for a long period of time."
With Wales' tight defence and accurate kicking likely to nullify Australia's attacking options, prop Sekope Kepu says the game could be won and lost in the forward battle.
"It's always been an arm wrestle and it's always down to the wire." he said. "It's always tough battles and set-piece comes into it."