Gareth Cooper believes Wales have discovered a steelier edge as they look to battle their way to the last eight of the World Cup.
Wales are bracing themselves for the hard-hitting Tongans in Canberra this weekend with Italy and the mighty All Blacks still to come.
But having brushed aside the physical threat posed by Canada with ease, even when twice reduced to 14 men, diminutive scrum-half Cooper reckons Wales can front-up.
"We know what to expect from Tonga, they are big guys, highly competitive and huge tacklers but we are just going to have to face that," he said.
"It wasn't the greatest of starts for us against Canada when we went behind and lost Colin (Charvis) to the sin bin and I think the nerves from the big build up to the World Cup were showing.
"We have been there before and crumbled but the boys responded to the early pressure brilliantly and really dug in during those 10 minutes.
"I don't think there is a great deal different in the team, but we have prepared so much for this World Cup and that opening game that we were full of confidence in our abilities to ride out the start when things were tough."
Indeed Tonga and their style of play will be familiar to Wales given the large contingent of players from the south sea island earning a living in the Welsh Premiership and Cooper is likely to come face to face with fellow Celtic Warrior scrum-half Sililo Martens on Sunday.
"I only signed for the Warriors (from Bath) in the summer and because of the training I haven't really had a chance to meet Sililo, but the rest of the lads know a lot about their type of game as so many Tongans play in Wales," said Cooper.
"I guess that makes things easier for both sides as you are well aware of the opposition's strengths and weaknesses and we'll be able to pick on a few areas."
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.