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Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Saturday, 3 December 2011

Wales v Australia as it happened

Wales wing Shane Williams

Williams scores for fitting farewell


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By Ben Dirs

Former England centre Jeremy Guscott on BBC One: "To try to get up for a game like this is tough, playing against the second best side in the world, the scoreline suggests it was a competitive match but it wasn't."

Shane Williams on BBC One: "I didn't see the overlap, I just saw the line and went for the try. It's been a tough week. Sorry we couldn't win but this is a great Australia side. It's meant everything to me, growing up you want to play for Wales and I've had the best time of my life. It's been a dream. Every time I put this jersey on it's the best time ever. I am going to miss it, I've enjoyed every moment, the ups and the downs, and I just want to say thank you to all the supporters."

Former England hooker Brian Moore on BBC One: "This is what Australia do. They don't look like a team of superstars but they have good players and can go bang, bang, bang when required and put the game out of reach. O'Connor may look like Justin Bieber but he's a hell of a player."

1622: Shane fights the tears as he is interviewed after the match - "every time I put this jersey on it's the best feeling ever," he says. The wee conjuror will be missed and we may not see his like again. Hitchcock, you can put away your typewriter now...

Full time
FULL-TIME: Wales 18-24 Australia That has brought a broad grin to many a rugby fan's face - his very last touch in international rugby, over he goes for a try, complete with an acrobat's tumble. Brilliant end to a brilliant career.

Try graphic
TRY 80 mins: Wales 16-24 Australia Shane appears in the back-line, as he has done thousands of times before, but is nailed. Matthew Rees spots a hole and goes through it. Jamie Roberts goes boshing through and feeds Faletau outside him... should have gone wide but Ryan Jones comes over all Hollywood and doesn't see the players queueing up outside... Wales have a penalty, though, they put phases together... SHANE WILLIAMS ON THE RIGHT WING! AND HE'S IN FOR A TRY!

75 mins: Wales 11-24 Australia Travis Knoyle is on for Lloyd Williams at scrum-half for Wales. Penalty at the scrum, Australia clear their lines. Dan Biggar replaces Rhys Priestland at fly-half for Wales. Hands in the ruck, more territory lost by Wales...

73 mins: Wales 11-24 Australia Brilliant from Shane, going on a scuttle and offloading out of the tackle to Leigh Halfpenny. Wales putting some good phases together before Priestland kicks for the corner. Ryan Jones dominates the line-out and Shane thinks he's in in the left corner, only for Priestland to go for the miss-pass. Another line-out on the 5m line... wobbly throw, Jones can't take and Faletau knocks on. Shame.

69 mins: Wales 11-24 Australia Nathan Sharpe is on for Rob Simmons in the second row for Australia. Ryan Jones with cute hands, flipping a long pass on to Matthew Rees but Australia eventually win it back. Good kick from O'Connor, pinning Wales inside their own 22. Alex Cuthbert on for his first cap, replacing George North on the right wing.

Try graphic
TRY 66 mins: Wales 11-24 Australia Turnover, Lloyd Williams sends it wide and the ball eventually lands in the hands of George North. Halfpenny with a half-break, before Priestland kicks to the corner after his side are awarded a penalty. Ryan Jones, on for Lydiate, is almost through before the ball goes left and Priestland rolls over in the corner. Priestland hits the upright with his conversion attempt.

Try graphic
TRY 62 mins: Wales 6-24 Australia O'Connor with a kick and chase but that's nice work from Faletau, slipping out of a tackle before chucking out a speculative pass. It all goes awry for Wales in midfield before Turner hacks through, but the Aussie flyer is caught in two minds, not knowing whether to pick it up or kick through again. But the Wallabies remain on the front foot and Samo pops a perfectly-timed pass to Berrick Barnes who goes over for Australia's third try. All in all, that was a very expensive sin-bin. It just got pricier, O'Connor converts.

Try graphic
TRY 57 mins: Wales 6-17 Australia ... what a pass that is from O'Connor - fizzed down the line, missing out two players and finding Turner, who slides in for a try. O'Connor lands the extras from miles out wide...

54 mins: Wales 6-10 Australia Higginbotham goes charging through a gaping hole in the Wales defence, Genia goes on another dart and eventually it's a penalty to Australia - Warburton gets a talking-to, he's very contrite, but all the apologies in the world can't stop O'Connor from increasing Australia's lead... O'Connor's hit the post from bang in front! Dreadful miss, but it hit the post so hard, Australia got it straight back...

Try graphic
TRY 52 mins: Wales 6-10 Australia Wallabies genie Will Genia, who has been the sparkiest player on the field, darts and touches down. The Milllennium Stadium is cloaked in slience and O'Connor pops over the extras.

Yellow card
49 mins: Wales 6-3 Australia Turner with an offload and that's a great pick-up from Berrick Barnes before O'Connor is grabbed without the ball.... Halfpenny is in the bin, but should it have been a penalty try?

48 mins: Wales 6-3 Australia Australia sniping, but that's fine defence and Wales eventually win the penalty after good work at the breakdown from Gethin Jenkins. Warburton rides a few tackles after an iffy looking up-and-under from Llloyd Williams, and the Blues scrum-half eventually knocks on.

44 mins: Wales 6-3 Australia Genia slips it inside to Ioane before Turner goes flying through... Jamie Roberts hacks through, but Priestland has knocked on and it's an Australia scrum right on the Wales 22. Better start to the second half.

42 mins: Wales 6-3 Australia Berrick Barnes gets us back under way, David Pocock has not reappeared after the break... O'Connor with a 'no-eyes' pass inside but Warburton forces the turnover. Scott Williams to George North, who goes on a burst, but that's forward from Priestland...

Former Wales scrum-half Jonathan Davies on BBC One: ""That was a rubbish first half, it's difficult, it's been a while since the World Cup but there have been lots of handling errors and Wales have slipped back since the World Cup. The ball is slow, it looks lethargic and nobody is getting the upper hand in the tackle areas."

Former England hooker Brian Moore on BBC One: "Shane Williams wants a try so much, we all want it so much, but the problem is the harder he tries the harder it gets."

Half time
PENALTY Wales 6-3 Australia North under a kick from Genia and he goes on a barrel before being snagged by Pocock, who hasn't been on his game at all today. Great hands from Pocock, though, before Wales go offside right on the whistle - O'Connor from just left of the posts and he halves the deficit. Strange half of rugby - not much happened, really...

38 mins: Wales 6-0 Australia Priestland with a steepler but what a take that is from Adam Ashley-Cooper... it's playing out like a testimonial at the moment, which is kind of what it is...

33 mins: PENALTY Wales 6-0 Australia Priestland nails the three-pointer from just left of the posts, Wales double their lead...

32 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Lloyd Williams is charged down but the ball ricochets dead and Wales have a drop-out. Shane takes the ball into contact before the lanky Ian Evans has a gallop, a path opening up before him. Australia offside, Wales penalty when they had the Wallabies rattled...

30 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Ashley-Cooper slices through the Welsh defence and offloads to Pocock, Barnes kicks to the corner and Lachie Turner looks to have got the ball down under pressure from Shane Williams... the man upstairs has plenty of looks and decides his backside was in touch. Some finish, though, whether it was a try or not.

29 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Jonathan Kaplan making some slightly eccentric calls at scrum time - Scott Andrews penalised for hinging, even though the Aussies looked to get an early shove on, not for the first time. Looks like Pocock's game could be run, he's down again... O'Connor, with this old-school, straight-on style of his, tugs his penalty attempt left of the posts...

MagillBen on Twitter: "Shane Williams, almost un-tackleable for a little man. Stupidly quick feet. Legend. And I'm not even Welsh. #bbcrugbyunion"

Mikeperkins89 on Twitter: "I love watching Wales play rugby at the Millennium Stadium, you always get a perfect 80,000 part harmony #bbcrugbyunion #Wales"

26 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Shane Williams has a scamper down the left and lights a fire under the Millennium Stadium... perhaps trying too hard, eventually kicks the ball straight out. Lovely kick from Barnes, plenty of territory gained...

22 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Ian Evans with a solid take at the line-out and Lloyd Williams' clearance isn't much cop. Barnes shows good feet to make the half-break before Warburton scrags him and Wales eventually turn the ball over. Collapsed scrum, iffy binding, Wales penalty...

20 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Australia scrum on their own line and O'Connor does a pretty good job with the clearance. Huw Bennett not straight at the lineout, another Aussie scrum. Raging Bull, David Pocock, gets the ball in his considerable mitts in midfield before Ioane weaves some magic. Horwill is carried backwards but Australia retain possession and the Aussies eventually kick it away - not much of a game, this...

16 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Shane pops up on the right wing but the Aussie defence is an iron curtain. Scott Andrews goes on a charge and that's neat from Lydiate, stepping out of a tackle before feeding Faletau. Alas, for Wales, it is eventually coughed up...

14 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia Pocock in from the side, not for the first time, and this time Priestland finds touch. Shane's first touch is, erm, not the stuff of his dreams - knock-on, although it was a poor pass from Scott Williams. O'Connor with a half-break but Wales turn it over and spin it wide. Faletau on a burst before Salesi Ma'afu is penalised for tackling with the arms. Priestland pins Australia in their own 22...

11 mins: Wales 3-0 Australia O'Connor on the switch but it's all a bit laboured from Australia at the moment with ball in hands. Halfpenny eventually gets his hands on it after a grubber through and clears his lines. Ioane leaves a defender standing with a devastating step before an attempted clearance from Priestland is charged down. Some dicey moments for Wales before referee Kaplan pings Australia for off-side... Priestland's having a shaky start, fails to find touch...

7 mins: PENALTY Wales 3-0 Australia Priestland nails the first points of the match from bang in front after an infringement from Aussie skipper James Horwill...

5 mins: Wales 0-0 Australia Big hit from Roberts on Barnes and it's a turnover - Gethin Jenkins puts leather on it and finds touch! Not bad for a prop. Not straight from Polota at the line-out, early shove from Australia and Wales get the free-kick. Priestland with a steepler, it's all a bit bitty at the moment.

3 mins: Wales 0-0 Australia My Welsh-speaking colleague in Cardiff, Bruce Pope, reliably informs me the writing on the front of Shane's shirt spells out 'Diolch', which means 'thank you' in Welsh. Nice touch. First scrum of the match - the Aussies outmatched Wales in this area in the third-place play-off in New Zealand, but it's a free-kick to Wales and they opt for another scrum.... big shove from the Aussies this time and it's a penalty Wales...

1 min: Wales 0-0 Australia Right, let's have it - Jonathan Kaplan gives a blast of his whistle and it's Rhys Priestland getting us under way...

1428: Here come the Wallabies... and here come the Welsh, led out by the wee winger, Shane Williams... tremendous reception, he'll be gulping up a few tears I'm sure... minute's silence for former Wales football manager Gary Speed... no, make that a minute's applause, lovely stuff...

BBC Sport's Bruce Pope in Cardiff: "Great amusement in the stadium as the announcer reads the Australia team out the opposite way to the profiles being flashed on the video screens. Cheers as it all syncs together. Huge cheers as Shane Williams is read out during the Wales team announcement."

1424: Lest we forget, there are 14 other players in this Wales side. Ironically, perhaps the man who will succeed Shane as Wales' three-quarter folk hero is over on the other wing today, George North, who is built like a fridge-freezer. Good feet, though, he's no battering ram. Well, he is, but there's more to him than that...

1419: Another subplot today is the very talented James O'Connor starting at fly-half for the Wallabies, and he's no giant either. Given Quade Cooper's flaky displays at the World Cup, it will be very interesting to see how O'Connor gets on.

1414: Wales, I'm told, are ranked eighth in the world - who puts these rankings together, Edward I? Gerald Davies and Ieuan Evans paying tribute to Shane on the box - "it gives us joy to watch that kind of rugby," says Gerald, "you had that sense there was fun and mischief in everything he did..." "Why run into someone when there's a perfectly good hole next to them?" says Evans. He was some wing, as well, like a wave coming into shore.

BBC Sport's Bruce Pope in Cardiff: "Both sets of players are going through their warm-up routines on the pitch, Australia working on a few set pieces while Wales are having a good old stretch under the watchful eye of Shaun Edwards. Drop and give me 10 boys..."

1409: This match may essentially just be a fund-raiser for both unions, but it promises to be a doozy - roof closed and both sides like to chuck it about a bit. Pictures of Shane entering the dressing room with his cans on - Goodbye Blue Sky? We'll Meet Again? Farewell Is A Lonely Sound? Not today it won't be, he'll be lucky if his head doesn't explode.

BBC Sport's Bruce Pope in Cardiff: "Wales captain Sam Warburton has won the toss and opted to receive from the kick-off. More than 60,000 fans are expected to gather under the closed Millennium Stadium roof this afternoon to see Shane Williams win his final Test cap."

Australia: Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs); Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs), Anthony Fainga'a (Queensland Reds), Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs), Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds); James O'Connor (Melbourne Rebels), Will Genia (Queensland Reds); James Slipper (Queensland Reds), Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs), Salesi Ma'afu (Western Force), James Horwill (Queensland Reds, capt), Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds), Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds), David Pocock (Western Force), Ben McCalman (Western Force). Replacements: Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Radike Samo (Queensland Reds), Ben Lucas (Queensland Reds), Ben Tapuai (Queensland Reds), Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels).

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); George North (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Blues); Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Scott Andrews (Blues), Bradley Davies (Blues), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Sam Warburton (Blues, capt), Toby Faletau (Dragons). Replacements: Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Alex Cuthbert (Blues).

1345: Afternoon. Wales v Australia at the Millennium Stadium and it's Shane Williams' 87th and final appearance. Everyone seems to think Wales are brilliant after the World Cup, but as many a cynical Englishman has pointed out, they haven't actually won much. A chance to show what they're all about today...

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see also
Wales 18-24 Australia
03 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Shane savours 'fantastic' ending
03 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Last hurrah for Wales great Shane
03 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Williams a little wonder
02 Dec 11 |  Welsh
My Story: Shane Williams
02 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Shane Williams - One last chance
01 Dec 11 |  Wales
Williams last of his kind - John
02 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Williams is Wales' finest - Henry
02 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Gatland spurs on his weary Wales
02 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Fainga'a replaces injured Horne
02 Dec 11 |  Welsh
Wales 18-21 Australia
21 Oct 11 |  Welsh

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