Former Wales coach Graham Henry has praised the performance put in by the country's captain Colin Charvis in the crucial 27-15 World Cup win over Italy.
Henry had been harshly critical of current coach Steve Hansen's selection policy in the build-up to the crunch quarter-final decider and had called for Charvis to be dropped.
"I thought Colin played exceptionally well against Italy," said Henry, speaking as a TV pundit after the game in Canberra.
"He led by example and was an inspiration to the team, he was doing a lot of talking out there."
Henry's words before the game were noted by Charvis, and the captain acknowledged that he felt the need to raise his game.
"There is a lot of history between Graham and me, and I am sure everything he says is with a pinch of salt. I know how the guy works," said Charvis.
"It is not so much motivational, but if the guy is right, the guy is right.
Maybe it was important for me to play better today than I have in the past."
Henry, who quit his Wales job 19 months ago allowing assistant Hansen to take the helm, said the side had produced their best display of the tournament to despatch the Italians.
"It's a big step forward for Wales, there was a huge improvement over their last two games," said Henry.
"There was a lot of positive back play with Iestyn Harris outstanding and Sonny Parker also impressing.
"They need to look at their set-piece work, though, and they gave far too many penalties away."