Good for gloating grand slammers to get reality check, says Jenkins
Dividends to come … Gethin Jenkins runs into Wycliff Palu. Pho Photo: Getty Images
GETHIN JENKINS claims Wales will be a better team for being knocked off ''cloud nine'' by the Wallabies.
The veteran prop admitted Wales arrived in Australia elated at their grand slam effort in the Six Nations.
Jenkins noted there were hard lessons doled out in the 27-19 defeat in Brisbane, but said they would be beneficial in the long run.
The Wallabies hit back from their shock midweek 9-6 defeat to Scotland to leave Wales with plenty to do to get back into the three-Test series.
And their task was made even tougher by the news Toby Faletau is out of the tour after breaking his hand in that first Test loss.
Jenkins, with 88 caps, knows better than most how hard it is to beat the best of the southern hemisphere, having just one win and a draw from 23 games against Tri-Nations sides. ''For a lot of the youngsters it was the first time they had played in the southern hemisphere,'' Jenkins said. ''Some of them were still walking on cloud nine a bit after winning the grand slam at home.
''But we all learnt it is a different kettle of fish and you do well to win in the southern hemisphere.
''People had been talking us up but I realise how hard it is to play against Australia, even when they are missing a few quality players.
''We have got to be right at the top of our game to get anywhere near a win down here … You only have to give [the Wallabies] a sniff and they make the most of it.''
Caretaker coach Rob Howley has called up Melbourne Rebel Gareth Delve from outside Wales's original 34-man squad as a replacement for Faletau, who will fly home to have his injury further assessed. The former Gloucester captain won the last of his 11 caps in 2010.
Wing George North will have intensive treatment on a haematoma to his thigh in a bid to get him fit for the Melbourne match.
Howley said tonight's tour match against the Brumbies in Canberra would be a ''test of character'' for his players. ''We are a game down, but we still have all to play for in this series and Tuesday night is the perfect opportunity for this squad of players to move on,'' he said.
''We have one or two bumps and bruises and we are expecting players to back up after playing a tough Test match and go out there 72 hours later and play for their country. That is exactly what touring is all about.''