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Wales 16-25 Australia

Wales (6) 16
Try: R Rees Con: Biggar Pens: Jones (3)
Australia: (7) 25
Tries: Pocock, Beale, Alexander Cons: O'Connor (2) Pens: O'Connor (2)

James Hook of Wales

Highlights - Wales 16-25 Australia

A superb attacking display made up for Australia's scrummaging deficiencies as they edged Wales in an action-packed Test at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

David Pocock went over for an early try and Stephen Jones landed two penalties as the Wallabies led 7-6 at half-time.

Young winger James O'Connor set up man-of-the-match Kurtley Beale and Ben Alexander for two more Aussie tries.

Wales' Richard Rees touched down with 10 minutes left to make it 16-22 but O'Connor's second penalty sealed it.

Gatland promises creative choices for team to play South Africa

Australia were ultimately deserving winners but Wales, minus injured full-back Lee Byrne, wing Leigh Halfpenny, centre Jamie Roberts and captain Ryan Jones, can take heart from an encouraging display.

They dominated the Wallabies in the scrummage, winning half-a-dozen penalties in that phase, and defended bravely at times but lacked the visitors' cutting edge in attack.

Wales began brightly and broke the deadlock after just two minutes.

Australia hooker Saia Faingaa - a late replacement for Stephen Moore who suffered a back spasm just before kick-off - was penalised for offside, and Jones obliged with the kick in front of the posts.

The visitors wasted no time in pouring towards the Welsh line though, only desperate defending keeping full-back Beale from crashing over.

But Wales could not man the barricades indefinitely and when Australia recycled, flanker Pocock took scrum-half Will Genia's pass to barge over with ease.

O'Connor added the extras but, undeterred by that setback, Wales worked through 15 phases to threaten the Aussie line.

606: DEBATE
Robert Rees

Their hard yards, however, counted for nothing when open-side flanker Sam Warburton was eventually isolated and penalised for holding on.

In what would become a defining feature of the match, Australia were bullied in the next scrum - Faingaa penalised for popping out under the force of Wales' front row. Jones, though, misfired off the tee, hooking his kick past the left-hand post.

In an apparent attempt to profit from Shane Williams' lack of height, Quade Cooper launched a dangerous cross-field kick towards the right corner.

However, his punt was marginally overcooked and O'Connor could only knock forward on the touchline as he tried to keep the ball alive.

Australia were again battered in the scrum before Warburton turned over again. From the resulting foray forward, Mark Chisholm was blown up for pulling Alun Wyn Jones' arm in a line-out, and Jones sent over his second penalty to make it a one-point game.

O'Connor had the chance to restore his side's advantage when Tom Shanklin high-tackled Genia, but the Western Force star's 40m kick fell short and wide of the posts.

Australia laid siege to the Welsh line again but Faingaa burrowed over in vain as the referee ruled the scrum-half had made it to the line courtesy of a double-movement.

Jones squandered another penalty just before the half-time whistle that would have had Wales out in front after Cooper was penalised for a high tackle on Shane Williams.

The home side were fortunate to escape when Matt Giteau uncharacteristically fumbled as Australia worked the ball menacingly wide after the restart.

But, moments later, fortune favoured the Aussies when Beale's kick bounced off Bradley Davies and into the hands of Genia, who released O'Connor on the right.

The 20-year-old marauded up the wing, brushing off a feeble tackle from Shane Williams before releasing an inside pass to Beale, who ran over unchallenged, O'Connor converting.

Australia's pitiful scrummaging yielded another penalty for Wales, which Jones landed just outside the 22 to make it 9-14.

Beale almost scored a sensational try when he collected his own chip before grubbering past Hook only to spill the ball as he tumbled towards the line.

The Wallabies pulled 10 points clear, though, on the hour. Cooper robbed Bradley Davies, and when the ball was eventually flung wide to O'Connor he released Alexander who dived over for his first Test try.

O'Connor was wayward with his touch-line conversion attempt before the television match official ruled that Alun Wyn Jones' lunge for the line had fallen short.

Richie Rees crosses for Wales late on
Rees went over for Wales late on

O'Connor sent over another penalty to give the visitors a commanding 22-9 lead.

Wales centre Shanklin was sin-binned for an early tackle as Pocock drove for the line, but the hosts never gave up and they were given a lifeline with nine minutes remaining.

Australia conceded penalties at two scrums five metres from their own line, and from the third, Wales number eight Jonathan Thomas fed Rees - on for Mike Phillips - to dive over following a long period of pressure.

Replacement Dan Biggar landed the conversion, but another O'Connor penalty with six minutes left killed off Wales' late resurgence.


Wales: Hook, Harries, Shanklin (Czekaj 76), Bishop, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones (Biggar 65), Phillips (Richie Rees 65), Jenkins (James 71), Matthew Rees (Bennett 75), Adam Jones, Davies, Alun Wyn Jones (Deiniol Jones 74), Lydiate, Warburton (Martyn Williams 65), Thomas.

Australia: Beale, O'Connor, Ashley-Cooper, Giteau (Barnes 67), Mitchell, Cooper, Genia (Burgess 74), Robinson, Saia Faingaa (Edmonds 54), Alexander (Slipper 62), Chisholm (Mumm 75), Sharpe, Elsom, Pocock, McCalman.

Replacements not used: Brown, Turner.

Att: 70,000

Referee: Wayne Barnes (ENG)

Touch judges: Chris Pollock (NZL) & Peter Allan (SCO)

TV: Graham Hughes (ENG)



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see also
Gatland rues costly Wales errors
06 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Gatland faith in Jones leadership
05 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Tickets unsold for autumn games
05 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Australia unchanged against Wales
04 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Warburton inspired by mate Bale
04 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Wales select Warburton at flanker
04 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Jones ready for in-form Wallabies
04 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Gatland warning on Pocock threat
03 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Wales vow to play Australia style
02 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Australia 26-24 New Zealand
30 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union


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