Kerevi versus Wales
Samu Kerevi, in action versus Wales in 2019, says that World Cup loss hasn't been a talking point. Image by AP PHOTO
  • rugby union

Kerevi dismisses last Australia World Cup loss to Wales

Melissa Woods September 22, 2023

With only a handful of players remaining from the Wallabies line-up that lost to Wales in the 2019 World Cup, Samu Kerevi says the match hasn’t been mentioned ahead of their must-win clash in Lyon.

The Australians fell 29-25 in a pool clash in Tokyo but the loss didn’t have the same dire consequences that a defeat on Sunday (Monday AEST) will, with the Wallabies failing to make the play-offs for the first time.

The 2019 clash ended in the first Welsh win over the men in gold at a World Cup match since 1987, a result the current Wallabies crop are desperate not to see repeated.

Only Kerevi and winger Marika Koroibete were in the 2019 starting side while halfback Nic White, prop James Slipper and hooker Jordan Uelese came off the bench.

Uelese is unavailable this time around due to concussion protocols.

Kerevi said the match four years ago had hardly featured this week, with the team focused on a response to their disappointing showing in a historic 22-15 loss to Fiji last round in Saint-Etienne.

He described the unbeaten Welsh as a “tough team” and said the Wallabies would need to deliver for the full 80 minutes to secure the win.

“I don’t think we’re thinking about four years ago at all – this is a whole new group, a whole new World Cup even though it’s the same pool,” the 29-year-old centre said.

“Wales have got a world-class 10 (Dan Biggar) and a great forward pack so we have to take the learning from the Fiji game; our discipline, but also the physical part of the game that we want to bring forward to this week and clean up a few things tactically. 

“The boys have been training outstanding the last couple of days to get the pictures that we want for this weekend.”

Back in Japan, Kerevi was involved in a turning point just before halftime when Australia were trailing 13-8 but momentum seemed to be shifting.

Kerevi ran the ball out of his own half and put his arm up to brace himself for a tackle from Welsh five-eighth Rhys Patchell that appeared to be going high.

French referee Romain Poite instead penalised the Australian for a dangerous ball carry, with Patchell slotting the penalty.

Asked about his memories Kerevi said it was a “blur”.

“Probably just that we didn’t play to our full potential last time and few incidents in the game that were bizarre a bit for me,” he said.

“That game was another important game, it’s always important game against Wales and anyone in our pool as no games are guaranteed. 

“So really excited for this challenge to I guess turn the tide on what happened last time.”

The Wallabies will name their side on Friday night (AEST).