Gethin Jenkins hopes to put Melbourne behind him

First published in Latest Rugby

GETHIN Jenkins is hoping his Welsh teammates will have learned the harsh lessons of the second Test against the Wallabies in Melbourne when they try to salvage something in Sydney in Saturday's third and final game.

Last weekend's 25-23 defeat - a last-minute penalty putting them down - was not the first time the 89-time capped prop had seen defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

Back in 2009, when he was in the British & Irish Lions front row, he had the same experience in the second Test in Pretoria.

"It was a little bit of deja vu in Melbourne after the Lions. A last-minute kick and the series gone,’’ said Jenkins, now Wales most capped player after the retirement of Martyn Williams.

"We should have seen the game out in Melbourne. With only two minutes on the clock we should have done something a bit different, but when it's as tight as that it's the responsibility of the 22 to nail it.

"It probably wasn't the best of ideas the kick the ball away, but I thought we had a good chase and pinned them down 30 metres from their line. It was just unfortunate that we gave away two penalties which cost us the game.

"Looking back, I'm sure we could have done better to stop that driving line-out and not pulled it down. It was the last minute of the game, we'd all worked our guts out, but we shouldn't have been down there.’’ After a two-day break it was back to work for the Welsh squad as the Wallabies announced their team for Sydney.

Fit-again Kurtley Beale is back at full-back and Adam Ashley-Cooper switches to the right wing in place of Cooper Vuna.

Up front, Sitaleki Timani replaces Rob Simmons in the second row in the only change to the pack. But head coach Robbie Deans has gone for a 5-2 split on the bench and dropped last weekend's match winner Mike Harris from the entire matchday 22.

The versatility of Beale, who can play at centre or outside half, has allowed the Wallabies to carry an extra forward among their replacements and that could help as they attempt to quell another second-half revival from the Welsh as they go in search of that elusive southern hemisphere scalp.

"We've taken a bit of time off to reflect on last weekend and to pick ourselves up for the third Test. There's pride in the changing rooms,’’ said Jenkins.

"We didn't get much sleep last Saturday night just thinking about that last kick and how we should have drawn the series. There wasn't much talk in the changing rooms afterwards, but it has been heads down since then as we try to pick ourselves up.

"Last weekend was devastating and we were disappointed in ourselves that we couldn't finish off the game. We had some nice late wins in the season and now we know what it's like to be on the end of a losing game.’’

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