Alun Wyn Jones wants to end on a high
11:10pm Sunday 17th June 2012 in National Rugby
ALUN Wyn Jones is determined to help Wales end their tour of Australia on a high with victory in Sydney at the weekend.
The tourists came within 20 seconds of levelling the series against the Wallabies in Melbourne yesterday only to succumb to Mike Harris' injury-time penalty.
That gave Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series but Six Nations champions Wales head to New South Wales with the intention of claiming their first Test victory down under since 1969.
Lock Jones said: "It is unfortunate to go 2-0 down in the series in that fashion, especially after we had played so well for so long, but it's done now and we have got to get back on the horse.
"There was a lot to take out of a much-improved performance from last week. We had parity at the breakdown, our kicking game was improved and our defence was pretty good.
"We can be negative, dour or whatever but this is professional sport and there is no point dwelling on it.
"We have to move on and there is still history to be made by winning a game down here and that means there is still a big carrot on the end of a long stick.’’ Wales appeared on the verge of victory at the Etihad Stadium following tries by George North and Jonathan Davies in either half.
Leigh Halfpenny also kicked 15 points in an intriguing duel with Wallaby fly-half Berrick Barnes that saw the lead change hands seven times in the second half before Harris' last-gasp winner.
Jones said: "If it was a boxing match you would have been more than happy you got your moneys worth. It was blow for blow regards the penalties in the second half and we felt pretty comfortable with the kick-off, our scrum and the penalties. Both teams were going for penalties in the end because defences were pretty strong.
"We were pretty much in control in the last 10 and it was the case of piggy-back penalties on the field. Unfortunately they got the one in range and they took it. Had there been 20 more seconds on the clock, perhaps we could have gone up the field and done the same.’’ It was a display to be proud of from a team that has reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and won a Grand Slam in the past 10 months.
And Jones is eager to remain realistic after such a heartbreaking loss.
He added: "Everyone said it was the start of a downward spiral after we lost to South Africa at the World Cup, but that wasn't the case.
"We know how close we came to winning and now we all have to front up for Saturday.
"Now there is still a chance to make history in the final Test. We feel we are improving. It is going to come.’’
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