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Sunday, 25 November, 2001, 14:03 GMT
Burke's law rules for Aussies
Scrum-halves George Gregan and Rob Howley clash
Scrum-halves George Gregan and Rob Howley clash
Wales 13-21 Australia

Seven penalties from Matt Burke helped Australia to a solid, but unspectacular, win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.

Burke was on target to give the Wallabies their first win in three games, but battling Wales did claim the only try of the contest.

Australia, coming off the back of two successive defeats, made an uncertain start under the closed roof with Wales making the two best early breaks.

Iestyn Harris and Robert Howley both made good progress to cheer a passionate crowd who had sung the national anthem with gusto.

The first points came in the 10th minute when Australian lock David Giffin was penalised for stamping on Colin Charvis, and Harris kicked the long penalty.

Iestyn Harris is stopped in his tracks by Elton Flatley
Iestyn Harris is stopped in his tracks by Elton Flatley
To add to the Wallabies woe, Giffin was yellow-carded to give Wales a man advantage.

Despite some good scavenging by Charvis and Andy Moore, they failed to take real advantage.

In fact it was Australia who were next on the scoreboard with Burke putting over a 35-metre penalty to level the scores.

Wales were back on the attack soon after, but wasted their chances and Giffin returned to the field.

Aussie wing Ben Tune, who was making his first Test start since the 1999 Rugby World Cup final, almost broke through, but George Gregan knocked on.

From another visiting breakdown, Jamie Robinson kicked through and won Wales a good attacking position.

The drive came to nothing, but Harris then had a chance with a 54-metre penalty.

Colin Charvis goes on the attack for Wales
Colin Charvis goes on the attack for Wales
The kick was on target, but fell just short with Matt Cockbain lifted to catch the ball.

Despite their domination of possession, Wales' discipline was letting them down and an offside decision against Darren Morris enabled Burke to make it 6-3 eight minutes before the interval.

But Wales were not downhearted and Gareth Thomas, Harris and Robinson combined to set up a good chance eventually stopped by a knock-on.

Their pressure continued right up until the interval, giving the crowd something to cheer about. But a late tackle by Charvis on Gregan enabled Burke to make it 9-3 at the break.

The Wallabies came out firing at the start of the second half and an increase in the tempo saw Burke knock over his fourth penalty of the afternoon.

Joe Roff and Wayne Proctor battle for aerial dominance
Joe Roff and Wayne Proctor battle for aerial dominance
The Welsh defence was getting more desperate and led to Robinson leaving the field with a bruised hip to be replaced by Rhys Williams, while Gareth Thomas moved to centre.

Their first incursion into the Aussies' half led to a missed penalty by Harris before Chris Wyatt replaced Ian Gough in the second row.

Another visitors' attack saw Burke waste a chance to make it a 12-point gap, and George Smith came on to replace Phil Waugh.

Smith was soon in the action, forcing Scott Quinnell to give away a penalty and Burke made it 15-3.

Wales were suffering from a lack of possession, but when Rhys Williams did make a break they earned a penalty which Harris put over.

Matt Burke kicked a match-winning seven penalties
Matt Burke kicked a match-winning seven penalties
The first try almost came in the 63rd minute when a Wayne Proctor chip was returned by Joe Roff, who scooted home in the corner.

But referee Steve Lander had already blown for a Wallabies knock-on and disallowed the score.

The visitors did extend their lead through two more Burke penalties, and Wales's defence was frequently penalised.

Referee Lander warned skipper Quinnell that the next Welsh offender would go to the sin-bin, and replacement Duncan Jones almost went there for a late tackle.

The frustration of both sides boiled over in the final minutes with Andy Moore and replacement Justin Harrison yellow-carded after a bout of fisticuffs.

In the last minute Wales finally showed what they could do with some possession as a quick Howley penalty saw replacement Gavin Thomas scramble over for Harris to convert.

But the defeat meant that Graham Henry's side still hasn't beaten Australia on home soil since 1981.


Wales: Try: Gavin Thomas. Con: I Harris. Pens: I Harris (2).

Australia: Pens: M Burke (7).


Wales: K Morgan (Swansea); W Proctor (Llanelli), J Robinson (Cardiff), I Harris (Cardiff), G Thomas (Bridgend); S Jones (Llanelli), R Howley (Cardiff); S John (Cardiff), R McBryde (Llanelli), D Morris (Swansea), I Gough (Newport), A Moore (Swansea), C Charvis (Swansea), B Sinkinson (Neath), S Quinnell (Llanelli, capt).
Reps: B Williams (Neath), D Jones (Neath), C Wyatt (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bath), D Peel (Llanelli), A Marinos (Newport), R Williams (Cardiff).

Australia: M Burke (NSW); B Tune (Queensland), G Bond (ACT), E Flatley (Queensland), J Roff (Biarritz); S Larkham (ACT), G Gregan (ACT, capt); N Stiles (Queensland), M Foley (Queensland), B Darwin (ACT), M Cockbain (Queensland); D Giffin (ACT), O Finegan (ACT), P Waugh (NSW), T Kefu (Queensland).
Reps: B Cannon (NSW), R Moore (NSW), J Harrison (ACT), G Smith (ACT), C Whitaker (NSW), S Kefu (Queensland), C Latham (Queensland).

Referee: Steve Lander (England).

Att: 78,000.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Wales skipper Scott Quinnell
"We gave away too many penalties"
Australia wing Joe Roff
"I think the team played well in patches"
Wales coach Graham Henry
"We struggled to put the attack together"
Australia coach Eddie Jones
"The priority was to play well"
Wales centre Iestyn Harris
"We lost a lot of ball in ruck and maul"
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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