Why Wallabies’ World Cup dream isn’t over yet
History says they are shot ducks but the Wallabies insist it ain't over yet.
It's just going to be a bit tougher after Sunday night's loss to Wales.
The statistic that says they can't win the World Cup is that no team has ever got their hands on the Webb Ellis Trophy after losing in the pool stage.
But there's another quirky figure that proves they might still have a chance because three of the past eight finalists made it to the decider after getting beaten in the round-robin phase.
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England have done it twice - in 1991 and again in 2007 - while France made the 2011 final after losing twice in the pool matches.
None of those went on to win but they all came close, including the French, who lost 8-7 to New Zealand.
"There's always belief in the team, there's still belief there now," Samu Kerevi said.
"We're going to take this on the chin and re-group. There's still belief we can win the World Cup, but we have to still get through the group stages … win the pool games we've got (left) and we'll work from there."
Barring a monumental upset, the Wallabies will make the quarterfinals as long they win their remaining matches against Uruguay and Georgia.
Then it gets tricky. Their most likely quarterfinal opponent is England, who the Wallabies haven't beaten in four years. If they get through that, the reward is almost certain to be a clash with the All Blacks, and every Australian knows how that rivalry has panned out in recent years.
Matt Toomua, who urgently needs to be promoted to starting five-eighth after he provided the spark Australia desperately needed when he came off the bench, said the key for the Wallabies was to start games better after their stumbled out of the blocks.
"I had a good view of the game. I saw a few tactical things I thought we could change and it helped us get closer," he said.
"They're a world-class team and so are we on our day. And no one will be asking for a refund after that match.
"They taught us a few lessons but there is no rule that says we can't win the World Cup from here."
Replacement halfback Nic White, who lost his spot in the starting side to Will Genia, said Australia could finish over the top of any side if they can just find a way to reduce the damage early on.
"It hurts a lot but we can take confidence from that second half performance. But we have to sort out giving the opposition those kind of first half leads," he said.
"It felt like we were coming home with the wind in our sails and a try was just around the corner. I thought it was there for us."