Wales 16 v 25 Australia - Match Report

Australia justified their position as arguably the world's number one side with a commanding performance over Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  However, Wales were missing a number of key individuals and put up a valiant effort, at least crossing the line and scoring two penalties.

Wales took an early lead thanks to a Stephen Jones penalty, but the lead was short-lived as David Pocock went over; young winger James O'Connor converted.  It would have been easy at this point to capitulate after such a pounding early on, but Wales now piled on the pressure themselves, going through fifteen phases to threaten the Aussie line.  However, the move broke down after Sam Warburton was penalised.

Stephen Jones missed a normally regulation penalty after the Australian scrum was penalised, but made amends soon after to make it 7-6. Just before the break he missed another, which would have given the Welsh a boost.

The second half began in the same vein as the first with Australia immediately exerting pressure on the Welsh line and Faingaa went over, only to have his try ruled out thanks to a double movement. But it was to be just a brief respite as a lucky ricochet off Bradley Davies fell into the arms of scrum-half Geniam who passed to James O'Connor and on to man of the match, full back, Kurtley Beale. O'Connor converted.  Another try followed soon after from Ben Alexander and with a penalty on the board, Australia led 22-9.

Tom Shanklin was sin-sinned for taking out Pocock before he received the ball and this could have opened the floodgates for Australia, but in fact it was the spur needed for Wales to recover.  Richie Rees, on for Mike Philips, inspired an assault on the Australian line, resulting in a try for the replacement from Cardiff Blues. Fellow substitute, Dan Biggar, converted, but a late penalty from O'Connor sealed the win for Australia.

Wales will need to fix serious problems with their line out before the visit of the Springboks next Saturday and Australia's scrum, members of which were lucky not to end up in the sin bin, let alone give away a penalty try, will have to be far more disciplined.
Tune in to the Radio Cardiff Sports Show this Tuesday at 7pm for a full match reaction - 98.7FM and online


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