"There's nothing to it, the boys were desperate for a win" ... Dave Dennis. Photo: Getty Images
CARDIFF: In his own words, Dave Dennis was ''buggered'' and doing a spot of ''seagulling'' on the right flank when he realised it was on. Berrick Barnes lobbed a long pass to replacement centre Mike Harris, who beat Welsh lock Lou Reed then repelled winger Liam Williams, and Dennis cranked up the legs for one final run.
''I just pulled back. I knew we were going to come back wide again,'' he said. ''We were trying to get them on the edges. [Sekope Kepu] made a good run earlier and it was working for us, so I knew the ball was coming back my way. I just worked hard on it and I think Mikey Harris had to come on and he put me into a bit of space. I was just happy [five-eighth Kurtley Beale] popped up because I don't think I had the legs to get there.''
Beale's match-winning try came after 79 minutes of unimpressive territory football. But that it came at all, 15 Tests and countless injuries into a tough season, said as much about the Wallabies as their loss to France in the first Test of their spring tour. There is almost nothing you can say for sure about these Wallabies except they thrive on pressure and will fight to the final seconds for a teammate such as Nathan Sharpe.
''There's nothing to it, the boys were desperate for a win,'' Dennis said. ''When you're desperate like that and you want to do it for someone like Sharpie, who's such a quality bloke, you find something, and it paid off.''
Wales coach Warren Gatland said his players were ''naive'' to not see the attack coming.
Dennis said Wales' commitment to kicking to find territory forced the Wallabies to play the ball in the final 10 minutes. With the score at 12-9, they knew a penalty was not enough.
''That last five minutes, although we ended up camped down our own half we felt that if we got some ball and spread it round a bit there'd be some chances,'' he said. ''As soon as I got that space I thought, 'We're a chance here', whether I got tackled and we went again, whatever. But we finished it there and then.''
Dennis had replaced starting blindside Scott Higginbotham in the first half but moved to the second row in the second half when Kane Douglas, back from injury, had exhausted himself. Michael Hooper came into the back row and Dennis was moved into the lineout and maintained the Wallabies' perfect record in that set piece. Dennis said it was satisfying to be part of the first Wallabies winning streak in a long time.
''It's good, it changes the whole mood obviously, everyone doesn't like losing and it would have been very disappointing sitting there having a beer with Sharpie, knowing that we should have won it or could have won it,'' he said. ''The [performances] haven't been pretty … but like you said, it's three wins in a row. Better than three losses in a row.''