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."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.