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Page last updated at 21:21 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Cardiff Blues 3-31 Australia

Cardiff Blues (3) 3
Pen: Blair
Australia (17) 31
Tries: Cross, Beale 2, Morahan Cons: O'Connor 4 Pen: O'Connor

Kurtley Beale
Australia wing Kurtley Beale scored tries in each half

Australia ended more than a century of hurt at Cardiff City Stadium, beating a Cardiff-based team at the seventh attempt in convincing fashion.

The Wallabies lost six times to Cardiff RFC, but comfortably saw off the Welsh regional incarnation the Blues at Cardiff City Stadium.

Ben Blair kicked the hosts' only points in the fourth minute.

But first-half tries from Ryan Cross and Kurtley Beale were followed by Luke Morahan and Beale touchdowns late on.

In the process the Wallabies displayed the composure lacking in their 9-8 defeat by Scotland at the weekend and fired a warning to Wales that they are unlikely to be a soft touch at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.


Even when they were twice down to seven men up front in the second half, thanks to sin-binnings for Richard Brown and Matt Hodgson, the Blues' pack were unable to dominate.

The visiting eight provided the platform for a second and final midweek win of their tour following a 36-5 victory against Gloucester three weeks ago.

The hosts included scrum-half Gareth Cooper and flanker Sam Warburton after they were released from the Wales squad preparing to tackle the Wallabies on Saturday.

But Blues boss David Young was without Wales stars including Jamie Roberts, Gethin Jenkins and Martyn Williams in a side led by New Zealander Xavier Rush.

Australia had a solitary survivor in Cross from the starting line-up for their defeat at Murrayfield and it took him just five minutes to make an impact as the Wallabies struck from their first attack.

Blair put the Blues ahead, but Australia replied superbly after the early setback of losing fly-half Matt Toomua, who suffered a facial injury tackling Dafydd Hewitt.

O'Connor made a superb break, scattering the Blues defence before handing Cross a simple finish.

O'Connor converted and kicked a penalty before Wallabies coach Robbie Deans sent on two replacements in as many minutes - prop Salesi Ma'afu for Peka Cowan and flanker Smith in place of Mitchell Chapman.

The Blues made a huge effort in an attempt to reduce the deficit, but Australia struck almost on half-time when Blair spilled possession, and Beale rounded off the counter-attack by beating two attempted tackles for O'Connor to convert, making it 17-3 at half-time.

Richie Rees took over from Cooper at the break, while Blues' regular captain Paul Tito also came off the bench, but there was little immediate sign of Australia losing their grip.

Even when number eight Brown was sin-binned for deliberate offside, Australia were never seriously threatened by a Blues side high on work-rate, but lacking guile.

The second period fell flat as both sides failed to find a cutting edge although the Wallabies proved their mettle by defending and scrummaging superbly after flanker Hodgson was sin-binned for a technical offence.

However, the visitors had enough about them to post a convincing winning margin.

Morahan crossed following impressive work by another substitute, Richard Kingi, and Beale sped clear in injury time to complete their first win against the hosts in 111 years of trying.

Cardiff Blues: Blair; Mustoe, G Thomas, Hewitt, Czekaj; Norton-Knight Cooper; Filise, G Williams, G Powell, Jones, Morgan, Warburton, White, Rush.
Replacements: Sweeney for Blair (63), Sowden-Taylor for Cooper (40), Hobbs for G. Powell (45), Tito for Morgan (40), Rees for White (40).
Not Used: Evans, R Thomas.

Australia: O'Connor, Turner, Cross, T. Smith, Beale, Toomua, Burgess, Cowan, Polota-Nau, Kepu, Dennis, Mumm, Chapman, Hodgson, Brown.
Replacements: Morahan for Cross (62), Cooper for Toomua (2), Kingi for Burgess (74), Ma'afu for Cowan (29), Dunning for Kepu (60), G. Smith for Chapman (31).Not Used: Chisholm.

Sin Bin: Brown (47), Hodgson (68).

Att: 14,622

Referee: James Jones (WRU).

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