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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
1987: Wales 22-21 Australia
World Cup third place play-off, 18 June 1987
Rotorua, New Zealand

Ever since the opening World Cup, Wales have struggled to shine at the tournament.

John Devereux evades a tackle during the third-place play-off
Wales 22
Tries: Moriarty, Hadley, Roberts
Cons: Thorburn (2)
Pens: Thorburn (2)
Australia 21
Tries: Burke, Grigg
Cons: Lynagh (2)
Pens: Lynagh (2)
DG: Lynagh

And in the third-place play-off against Australia in 1987 little was expected of them against an Australian side which had only just been kept out of the final by France.

Wales had knocked out England in the quarter-finals but were trounced by New Zealand in the semi-finals.

The result failed to dent their morale as they took to the field against the Wallabies in Rotorua.

In Robert Jones, Jonathan Davies, Michael Lynagh and David Campese, the contest possessed what were to become legends of the game.

Matthew Burke and Peter Grigg both crossed the line for the Wallabies as did Paul Moriarty and Gareth Roberts for Wales.

Meanwhile, Lynagh and Paul Thorburn swapped kicks - Lynagh slotting over two penalties, two conversions and drop-goals, which was matched by his opposite number aside from the drop-goal.

Thorburn effectively won the battle of the boot when Adrian Hadley ran in a last-ditch try for the Welsh.

With his score the Welsh moved to within a conversion of taking the lead, which rested solely on the shoulders of Thorburn.

Remarkably, a tough kick from far out wide sailed over with little difficulty to seal third place.


Wales: Paul Thorburn, Adrian Hadley, John Devereux, Mark Ring, Ieuan Evans, Jonathan Davies, Robert Jones; Steven Blackmore, Allan Phillips, Anthony Buchanan, Dick Moriarty, Steve Sutton, Gareth Roberts, Richard Webster, Paul Moriarty

Australia: Andrew Leeds, Peter Grigg, Matt Burke, Andrew Slack, David Campese, Michael Lynagh, Brian Smith; Cameron Lillicrap, Tom Lawton, Andy McIntyre, Troy Coker, Steve Cuter, David Codey, Simon Poidevin, Steve Tuynman





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