7:02am Monday 2nd December 2013
TOBY Faletau has enjoyed another splendid autumn yet the Newport Gwent Dragons star is still waiting to toast a Welsh victory against a southern hemisphere big gun, writes Chris Kirwan.
The number eight was tremendous against the Wallabies, just as he was against the powerful South Africans and when winning man of the match against Argentina.
The 23-year-old made more runs than any other Welshman with 12 and topped the tackle count with 17 (none missed), with one of those a stunning effort to snare Aussie winger Nick Cummins when a try seemed certain early in the second half.
But it was all in vain and the British and Irish Lions' third Test victory against the Wallabies remains the only time that Faletau has got the better of a Sanzar nation.
In a Wales jersey he has lost to the Aussies four times, New Zealand once and South Africa twice.
"It is frustrating because we have played Australia so many times and just lost," he lamented.
"We have not beaten any of the big three but we just have to go back and look at the game and see what happens when we come up against them again.
"It was a tough game, one of the hardest against Australia. We made a really good start to build a lead but we allowed them back into the match.
"Australia have a really good backline and you could just see what they did out there. They can strike from anywhere."
Faletau will now be thrust back into action with the Dragons and will be a key figure in a crucial period of the season for the Rodney Parade region.
They take on Bordeaux Begles in an Amlin Challenge Cup double-header, travel to Connacht in the RaboDirect Pro12 then play back-to-back festive derbies with Cardiff Blues.
The hectic schedule should help Faletau get over Wales' frustrating November and it won't be long before he leads the charge as Warren Gatland's side bid to prove that they are Europe's best.
"It was a disappointing autumn because we set ourselves a target of three wins and we have not managed that," said the number eight.
"A few boys have come in and done well and we have to look forward now and concentrate on the Six Nations.
"I don't think there has been a team to win three Six Nations titles in a row and that is what we have to target that again.
"That is a motivation as we try to make history so if you can't get up for that you shouldn't be playing."
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