The Australian camp will be feeling confident this week after putting things right against the highly touted Welsh, effectively exorcising the demons of that wet, miserable, loss to Scotland in Newcastle in their opening test match of the season.
Wales on the other hand will need to treat the build up to this week's test as a huge occasion. For them, a loss equates to a dismal tour after reaching the top with their Six Nations grand slam win.
Considered by many to be the team of the future, the men in red can feel a little, if not a lot, unlucky to have had to come down under without their prized coach Warren Gatland after he was hurt on his holidays. Gatland can be considered the driving force behind the Welsh success in recent years. Few coaches have as much influence on the field as Gatland. However for a young team that want's to topple the worlds best and lay claim to the title themselves, this expereince should be grasped as an opportunity rather then a setback.
Great teams share a collective attitude that makes them even harder to beat. The Australians under Rod McQueen had it in abundance. Under Deans they've lacked it more often then not but look to be regaining it after their hard fought win last weekend. Wales need something similar to come from their time in Australia. If they can reach down deep and produce a win to slavage the tour, it'll make the decider a much more even competition with or without Gatland on board. The confidence borne of a victory under those circumstances will raise the team like a shot of medicinal lightening in the arm. But lose, and in all likelyhood they'll allow the Aussie mongrel to grow even more and smell blood in the water, potentially ending with a hiding come the third test.
Prediction – Australia by 9.
Author: Tim Cronin