Australia coach Ewen McKenzie already looking forward to next season
Last Updated: 30/11/13 9:50pm
Ewen McKenzie: Believes the Wallabies are beginning to find some consistency
Australia coach Ewen McKenzie felt there were further signs of progress from his side after their thrilling 30-26 victory over Wales in Cardiff.
The Wallabies rounded out their European tour, and their season, by recording a ninth straight Test triumph over their opponents at the Millennium Stadium.
"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."
They had to battle back from 13-3 down to do so, while they came close to letting slip a 14-point second-half lead as Wales came storming back in the latter stages.
Quade Cooper ended his 50th appearance for Australia in the sin-bin but his team-mates held on, making sure Christian Leali'ifano's 15-point haul - including a first-half try - didn't go to waste.
"This result was outstanding," McKenzie said at the end of a trip that saw them only beaten by England.
"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."
McKenzie acknowledges that his team will be judged on their performances against southern hemisphere rivals New Zealand and South Africa, though there are signs of improvement at the end of a long, tough campaign.
"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," he added.
"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."