Wales channelled the spirit of NSW's victorious State of Origin side in an effort to topple the Wallabies in Melbourne at the weekend, Welsh assistant coach Shaun Edwards has revealed.
They went agonisingly close too, losing by a penalty goal after the fulltime siren sounded. Today Edwards, a former rugby league player who is defence coach for Wales, said he had asked the side to play like the Blues after watching the second Origin game with some of the squad last week.
"[NSW] were in a very similar situation to us, they were one-nil down in the series in a competition they had no recent history of being hugely successful in and I just wanted the [Wales] boys to come out with that same sort of determination and intensity, skill-factor, desire level, that the Blues did and I think I got that response," Edwards said after the team arrived in Sydney.
"I thought it was a really, really good attitude, I couldn't have faulted the boys one iota."
Since losing the second Test to the Wallabies 25-23, Wales has been casting the net wide for inspiration and tuition ahead of the final match at Allianz Stadium this weekend.
A few of the coaches and players observed a Sydney Swans training session this morning in the hope of improving their technique under the high ball.
"The aerial side of the game in rugby is a huge part of the game nowadays and, I'll tell you straight, the hardest thing to defend is a lost aerial battle," Edwards said.
"When people say turnovers are the hardest things to defend it's not, the hardest thing to defend is if the opposition put an up-and-under up or a box kick and they win it, that is the hardest thing to defend. So anything you can pick up from experts in that area which, clearly, teams like the Swans are ... we're more than willing to do that."
Edwards, a former rugby league international, played for English sides Wigan, London and Bradford as well as a season in Sydney with the then-Balmain Tigers.
He coached rugby union after retiring, taking over as head coach at the London Wasps after Warren Gatland's departure and overseeing two Heineken Cup victories in 2004 and 2007.
He followed Gatland to Wales, becoming his assistant in 2008.
"During my time in Wales I don't really speak about rugby league a great deal because rugby union's a totally different game and most people know I played rugby league ... but we did use the Blues's performance as a bit of a motivating factor," Edwards said.