Autumn internationals: Job done for Warren Gatland as Wales win sixth on trot
|Under Armour Series: Wales v Australia|
|Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 10 November Kick-off: 17:20 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Two, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website and app.|
Job done seemed to be the verdict of Wales coach Warren Gatland after captain Alun Wyn Jones became the first man to lift the Doddie Weir Cup.
The 21-10 victory over Scotland in Cardiff means Wales have now won six successive games for the first time since the Grand Slam year of 2012.
Dynamic defence restricted Gregor Townsend's men to just one try while moments of class from British and Irish Lions Test stars George North and Jonathan Davies proved the difference.
Wales consolidated their third place in the world rankings with victory over unusual autumn international opponents.
More familiar November foes Australia lie in wait in Cardiff next Saturday.
No more slow starts
Wales have finally won an opening autumn international for the first time in 16 years.
"It is always nice to get a win in your first hit out and getting that game under our belt was good," said Gatland.
"It is a tough ask when you play one of the southern hemisphere sides first who have just come off the back of the Rugby Championship.
"That's why we have struggled in the last 16 years to win the opening autumn international - it has tended to be against Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.
"If we had come out against Australia today we would have struggled with them coming off the Rugby Championship.
"Hopefully that game will put us in good stead."
Should Owens have returned?
Post-match questioning included the fitness of hooker Ken Owens, who returned to the field after suffering a facial injury at the end of the first half following a collision with Scotland number eight Ryan Wilson.
Owens initially came back on three minutes into the second half after passing a head injury assessment (HIA) and returned again later in the game when replacement hooker Elliot Dee was yellow carded.
Gatland brushed aside any concussion concerns.
"Ken is fine," said Gatland.
"He has taken a knock on the nose, which was a bleed, and just as a precaution we did an HIA. He passed that and one after the game as well.
"Just because you get a knock to the face, it doesn't mean you're concussed.
"It is understandable [the concern] and welfare of the player is the most important thing.
"It was precautionary to give him an HIA because there was some blood. It wasn't a concussion, it was a whack on the nose."
Who will start at 10 against Australia?
Wales rugby fans love a number 10 debate and Gareth Anscombe's performance will create a fresh one.
With Dan Biggar unavailable because the match fell outside the international window and Rhys Patchell still suffering from concussion, Anscombe was given a chance in his favoured fly-half role.
An impressive attacking performance will have given Gatland plenty to ponder as he prepares Wales to face the Wallabies, then Tonga and South Africa.
Gatland said: "Gareth's attacking stuff was good, he made a lovely pass for Jon Davies' try, he attacked the line and put players in holes.
"He has had not had a huge amount of games, but stepping up to that level we are pleased with him from an attacking perspective."
There was a caveat though that might show Gatland will stick to the tried and trusted Biggar to start next weekend.
"Our kicking game needs to improve," said Gatland.
"That has been a work-on for those players in those roles for a while."
Return of the exiles
Biggar is among a few English based players who will come back into contention.
Exeter tight-head prop Tomas Francis could come in for Dillon Lewis, despite an impressive performance from the Cardiff Blues prop. Scarlets prop Samson Lee is still struggling with a hamstring injury.
Saracens wing Liam Williams should replace Luke Morgan after the Wales sevens record try scorer had little chance to impress on his Test debut. Worcester wing Josh Adams will also be in the frame.
Cardiff Blues flanker Ellis Jenkins should be fit after overcoming a shoulder problem, but will find it hard to break up the impressive back-row trio of Dan Lydiate, Ross Moriarty and man-of-the-match Justin Tipuric.
Lydiate led the way on his international return with 21 tackles, while Moriarty made 18.
Sam Warburton has retired, while Aaron Shingler, Taulupe Faletau, Josh Navidi and James Davies are injured for this campaign. What back-row resources Gatland now has at his disposal.
Wallabies win at last?
Wales will now turn their attention to breaking a 10-year and 13-match losing sequence against Australia.
It will be the final match between the two sides before next year's World Cup in Japan where Wales and Australia will be in the same group.
A chance to gain a psychological advantage maybe?
Not so according to Gatland, who has focused the spotlight on Michael Cheika's struggling side, who finished third in the Rugby Championship.
"I don't look at it like getting a monkey off the back," said Gatland.
"It would be nice to get a result for confidence, but the more important game will be the World Cup match where if you win that pool you potentially put yourself in the easier side of the draw.
"It will be interesting because Australia have their own pressures back home."