BRITISH and Irish Lions hero Dan Lydiate revealed Wales were “gutted” they couldn’t end their miserable modern record against Australia as they slumped to their ninth successive defeat to the Wallabies, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
The hosts nearly staged a remarkable comeback on Saturday before falling just short against the visitors who were however more than worthy winners.
The Aussies won a wonderful encounter 30-26 but had been in danger of squandering a 14-point lead with just a quarter of the match to go as they weathered a late storm.
Wales were left to rue what might have been, but head coach Warren Gatland’s egregious record against the SANZAR nations continues with just one victory out of 23 attempts.
That’s a 4.35 per cent success rate which is nothing short of pathetic.
Ex-Newport Gwent Dragons blindside Lydiate, now with Parisian high rollers Racing Métro, enjoyed playing in the weekend’s classic encounter, if he didn’t exactly enjoying being a loser against those tough Aussies once again in a Wales jersey.
“It was a great game to play in and I loved every minute of it,” said the 25-year-old who was part of the Lions’ Test side which beat the Wallabies 2-1 in this summer’s series.
“It was a classic international match which could have gone either way at the end. We are gutted.”
Wales have come so close to beating the Australians so many times since they last beat them 21-18 in 2008 but the weekend was no different – another hard luck story.
“Looking after the ball and making correct decisions at the right time is not something we managed to do,” he said.
“We have been in this situation so many times which is so disappointing, but it shows great spirit to keep playing for 80 minutes.
“I know we keep saying it, but we are not far off, but it is just a kick in the teeth.”
Lydiate , who won his 30th cap on Saturday, believes Wales can take hope from this latest setback and kick on during the Six Nations as they look to retain the title for a third time.
“We have picked up a lot of injuries during this campaign and some young players have come in and have done themselves justice” he said.
“That bodes well for the future and although we lost against Australia we can move on again and come back for the Six Nations and be ready to go.”