A late win over the Rebels was one of the Waratahs’ most satisfying, prop Sekope Kepu says.
Despite a host of players coming off short turnarounds after a brutal June Series, the game lived up to the hype, with a Bernard Foley intercept sealing a five-point win for the Waratahs, and a four-point buffer at the top of the Australian conference.
Kepu said it rated as one of the better victories he had been involved with.
“We knew that it was going to be a massive one, and it was a battle, obviously top of the conference,” he said.
“We knew they'd be eyeing this one out as much as we have been, so it was good to - they played really well and I thought we scraped it out and got home in the end.
“So, you take those ugly wins and wasn't really hard to lift for it, they were out for war really and we needed to fight in that.
“I thought the boys went really well, so it was one of the more satisfying wins.”
It was a weekend that pleased Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey too, with one eye on the Bledisloe Cup opener next month.
“You want that consistency of performance from the players and they get a lot of confidence out of playing well and performing as a team in their Super environments and then when we come together as a Wallabies it's the best of the best, which is what we want,” he said.
Though there was a sense that the Wallabies had missed some chances against Ireland, Grey said they could only show they'd learned
“It just really highlights to us how important the big moments are and having the ability to stay composed and execute and put teams under pressure both sides of the ball,” he said.
“If we can do it with the way that we play holding on to the ball for long periods of times, which is outstanding, and also in defence if we can put them under pressure in defence as well, we can squeeze teams really well.
“We took a fair bit out of that, very disappointed, would've been nice to send them back home from their end of year tour saddened, and us rather buoyant.
“We'll take the positives and look forward to New Zealand in a month's time.”
The Waratahs take on the Sunwolves on Saturday July 7 at Allianz Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.