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Oz defeat no setback - Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton has claimed that his team's 30-26 defeat against Australia on Saturday will not be viewed as a setback despite suffering a ninth successive loss to the Wallabies.

Wales' agony continued at the Millennium Stadium. They still have not beaten Australia since 2008, while it is now 18 defeats on the bounce at the hands of major southern hemisphere countries.

"It is not a setback," flanker Warburton said, after losing a thrilling encounter to opponents that are in Wales' 2015 World Cup pool.

"Everyone is looking at the World Cup, but two years is a real long time to when that comes around.

"The motivation for the players today was not having one-up on Australia for the World Cup pool. It's a long way away.

"Our focus already turns to the Six Nations. No-one has won the Six Nations three years running, and that will be the target for this group of players moving forward."

Wing George North scored two tries - his second after moving to centre midway through the second half - with Leigh Halfpenny kicking eight points and fly-half Dan Biggar matching him by booting two penalties and a conversion.

Wales had their chances, yet they had no answer at times to a brilliant Wallabies back division orchestrated by fly-half Quade Cooper.

Cooper ran the show, although his sin-binning five minutes from time left Australia sweating, but it was his fellow midfield back Christian Leali'ifano who stole scoring honours through a 20-point haul from a try, three penalties and three conversions, while full-back Israel Folau and wing Joe Tomane also touched down.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said: "It was a great game of rugby if you were a neutral or an Australian. It was a real Test match out there.

"We are knocking on the door. The thing is with the southern hemisphere now which is different to the past is that they are coming here fully loaded and not making changes.

"We dug deep, and we showed courage to come back. Our fitness looked good in the second half, and we put ourselves in a position where we had a chance to win it.

"They (Australia) were smart in the way they played. It was frustrating that of the 18 penalties we got, I think 14 were at the breakdown, which stopped some of the momentum we were trying to create."

Tomane's try was awarded despite strong suggestions of a forward pass from Folau, and Gatland added: "We thought it was forward.

"The referee (Wayne Barnes) made the decision himself, without the TMO (television match official). I doubt he would have made that decision himself if it was the All Blacks playing.

"He made the call himself. I haven't spoken to him about it. It is not going to change the result.

"We are knocking at the door at the moment, and at some stage we are going to knock it over. We were under a bit of pressure, and we kept well in it right until the end.

"We will review a few things in the game, whether we would have made different decisions that might have affected the outcome, but I just thought the last period of the game we looked pretty good.

"As a whole, we are disappointed we didn't win. The players are in good shape, physically, and we've coped with four or five key players not being in the side.

"When these southern hemisphere sides come here they are not picking second-string players, and that's the way we want it. We dug deep today."

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie hailed his team's attitude and performance as they once again finished on top against Wales.

"This result was outstanding," he said.

"We were keen to express ourselves against them. You get judged on the scoreboard in the end, so it was important to win it, but win or lose I felt we made progress.

"The Wallabies don't play for another seven months now, so hopefully the fans will look forward to what's happening next year rather than spending too much time looking at the past.

"We wanted to play our way, and I thought we did. We went into the game confident, trained really well and I feel we've got a real confidence in the style of football we are trying to play.

"We want to express ourselves as a team.

"A lot of people say you can't play all the rugby, it's easier to play field position and keep it simple. We are trying to make sure that's in our back pocket if we have to (use it) but it's the variety between the two that's important.

"People are always going to say 'wait until you play the All Blacks, wait until you play the Springboks.' and for sure we've got to do better on that side of things. But the last time we played the All Blacks we did all right. We didn't win, but we were close.

"We just have to keep at it. We don't want to be the finished article right now. We've improved, we're getting more consistent."

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