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Nathan Sharpe: Wallabies make me proud
Nathan Sharpe: Wallabies make me proud

Last week was a particularly important one in the landscape of Australian rugby. Never in my time has Australia had two Test matches in four days.

The resolve of this Wallabies team, beaten by the Scots, was clear for all to see on Saturday night against the Welsh and it made me a proud Australian to be associated with the group.

Clearly against Wales we were better for that earlier loss.

We always knew the Welsh Test would be as tight as a mouse's waistcoat and had we not planned meticulously, it could have become akin to herding cats in an attempt to organise our team patterns, line-outs and general philosophies.

Many challenges were faced in getting the boys up for the second Test. The point we focused on was the mentality we took forward. We made sure our minds guided our preparation.

There is no point in dwelling on things you cannot control and we focused purely on ignoring any fatigue we were carrying. We knew the mindset we took into the kick-off would shape the result as much as the detail or physical shape we were in.

Wales will feel they got a result in the second half by playing more field position. They will not want to give us so much possession close to their try line in the second Test.

Both teams will be far more prepared for Melbourne on Saturday night off the back of a good seven-day preparation.

The Scottish Test had been there for the taking but we failed to land the killer blow.

It was a classic case of not re- organising and adapting on the run. I have never played in conditions in Australia like we did against Scotland. It was as if Scotland flew in two hours' worth of misery just for the game.

However, the downpour in Newcastle on a horrific Tuesday night was quickly eroded by the dominant three tries to one display at Suncorp Stadium four days later.

I stayed awake after our game to watch South Africa beat a competitive English side with many players whom I had not heard of before. The English competed hard throughout the game and on the back of that, I feel they will again be a dominant team in world rugby in two years.

On the other side of the ditch, NZ beat Ireland, which adds to the remarkable fact that in 107 years of Test rugby between the two nations, the All Blacks have never been beaten by Ireland, winning 24 Tests and drawing one.