Will Wales finally beat Australia at the 11th attempt?

Upset Wales fans

Both Wales and Australia are safely out of the group of death and into the Rugby World Cup knockout stages.

On Saturday the two teams meet at Twickenham to decide who tops the group and gets the easier quarter-final.

Wales are on a dire losing streak against the Aussies, with 10 straight defeats.

But what signs are there within those 10 defeats that suggest match number 11 will stop the rot for Warren Gatland's side?

They play at 4.45pm on Saturday at Twickenham.

November 2009, Cardiff : Wales 12-33 Australia

It was the end of a disappointing season for Australia, but they ran riot against Warren Gatland's side.

It was the Wales boss's biggest home defeat in his then two years in charge.

A certain David Pocock starred for the Wallabies, and you may have noticed (England fans) the outstanding flanker is even more dangerous these days.

November 2010, Cardiff : Wales 16-25 Australia

Pocock was again a thorn in the Welsh side, crossing for an early try at the Millennium Stadium.

This was an improved performance from 12 months previously for Wales however, bullying the tourists at the scrum.

A bit more creativity in attack and it probably should have been a win for Warren.

David Pocock and George Smith

October 2011, Auckland: Wales 18-21 Australia

This third place play-off at the New Zealand World Cup was a bit of a damp squib in terms of quality and atmosphere.

The Welsh had controversially lost their semi-final to France a week previously and struggled to rouse themselves.

Again they lacked an attacking threat against the Aussies who were deserved winners, albeit only by three points.

December 2011, Cardiff: Wales 18-24 Australia

Wales were looking for revenge after that World Cup defeat, but despite a try in his final international for Shane Williams they again fell short.

Wales were without numerous first choice players however while the Wallabies were at full strength, running in three tries to the hosts two.

Shane Williams

June 2012, Brisbane: Australia 27-19 Wales

Wales were 6 Nations Grand Slam Champions and looking to stop the rot down under, but looked sluggish and suffered their first defeat of 2012.

They recovered from 20-6 down to make it 20-19 before a Pat McCabe try sealed it to make it five wins on the bounce for the Aussies.

June 2012, Melbourne: Australia 25-23 Wales

Wales were much improved just a week later, and were leading going into injury time looking to secure a first win down under in 43 years.

Welsh hearts were broken by Aussie replacement Mike Harris's dramatic last-gasp penalty.

It was a defeat from the jaws of victory for Wales, which was to become something of a trend.

Warren Gatland

June 2012, Sydney: Australia 20-19 Wales

Yet again indiscipline cost Wales dearly, handing Australia a series whitewash.

Warren Gatland's side were 19-17 up with five minutes left to play before the visitors were penalised at the breakdown and Berrick Barnes slotted the resulting penalty.

On the plus side at least it was Wales' smallest ever losing margin in Australia.

December 2012, Cardiff: Wales 12-14 Australia

No prizes for guessing how this one ended. Wales were on the brink of victory, 12-9 up with 30 seconds left to play when Kurtley Beale bundled over to nick it.

It was a seventh straight test defeat for Wales, and had implications for this World Cup as it dropped them out of the top eight in the world rankings, putting them in the third tier of seeds.

Ultimately that was worse news for England than Wales but still.

Australia celebrates

November 2013, Cardiff: Wales 26-30 Australia

An early George North try and two Leigh Halfpenny penalties saw the hosts lead 13-3 before they were pegged back by Australia's attacking prowess to trail 30-16.

Wales rallied impressively but it was too little too late.

Physically they were up to the task, but typically their play lacked Aussie sophistication and invention.

November 2014, Cardiff: Wales 28-33 Australia

The Welsh led by a point going into the final 10 minutes, but a drop-goal and penalty by Brendan Foley clinched a 33-28 win for the Wallabies.

Warren Gatland's side did outscore their opponents by four tries to three, but there were too many individual errors and a lack of composure to seal the deal.

The learns

Frankly stopping the rot isn't rocket science.

Wales are unlikely to offer more flair than the Aussies, but if they can cut out the errors, particularly in the dying minutes of the match, they could finally win.

Playing at Twickenham could help too, none of their players have lost to Australia there, so the hoodoo could be lifted simply by playing somewhere neutral.

Warren Gatland looking gutted

The bad news is Australia looked brilliant against England, so they rightly start as favourites.

But if it's still close as 80 minutes looms, then perhaps Wales recent big match experience, their host of Lions test players and superior fitness could be enough to see them through.

Failing that maybe it's about time fate intervened and cut the Welsh some slack.

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