Jake Ball has insisted there is little between Wales and Australia, despite Saturday’s 13th successive defeat.
The Wales second row believes the gap between the teams can be attributed to errors as Wales attempt to settle into a more expansive playing style.
Wales were ultimately undone by three first-half tries and poor defensive strategies, yet the second period proved in contrast as they outscored the Wallabies and a grandstand finish beckoned until visiting full-back Kurtley Beale claimed a contentious breakaway try.
“I don’t think there was a big difference between the two of us (teams), just a couple of errors that got us on the wrong side of the scoreboard,” said Ball.
“We have probably pushed a few off-loads and bits, and we are trying to do that and have that bit of x-factor, but I think at times there is a point to keep the ball in hand and go through the phases. When we did that, we achieved some good things.
“From a tight five point of view, I thought we put in a pretty good shift. We were physical in defence and we felt good at scrum time, which was really positive as well.
“We have talked about the tight five being comfortable with ball in hand, and we have put a lot of emphasis on that.”
Although Wales failed to halt a long run of defeats against Australia – Saturday’s 29-21 loss means it will be a next decade next season since Wales last won in this fixture – Ball believes there are reasons for optimism.
More than a quarter of Wales’ match-day 23 either made their home Test match debuts or won first caps, leaving lock Ball enthused for challenges in their remaining appointments with Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.
“We have got an exciting squad, and they are encouraging those guys to play with confidence,” the Scarlets forward added.
“Obviously, international rugby is a step up, but a lot of these guys have played in regional rugby. It’s great to see so many new faces.
“There has been freshness among the squad. New guys bring different things. It has brought a new vibe to the squad, which has been great. It is quite nice, everyone learning from each other.
“We have been together two weeks now, and we will obviously have a good look at that (Australia) game and pull it apart. I think there is a lot to be excited about.”
“I think it is a starting point,” Ball added. “There were some errors in our 22 that probably cost us the game.”
Georgia, one of Wales’ 2019 World Cup pool opponents, are next up on Saturday, and Ball said: “Georgia have some big guys in there and are a physical team. We will get excited about that.
“That is when sides are a bit dangerous when you don’t know a lot about them, so we are going to have to be at our best.”