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Thread: Wallabies start life under Schmidt with gritty Wales victory in Sydney

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    Wallabies start life under Schmidt with gritty Wales victory in Sydney

    Article from Rugby.com.au

    The Wallabies have celebrated Joe Schmidt's first game in charge with a 25-16 win over Wales in Sydney.

    It was a physical battle dominated by a kicking duel between the two sides as the Wallabies struck first through Taniela Tupou for a 13-3 lead.

    Wales kicked their way into the game and a penalty try had the scores level just after the break.

    In the end, some magic from Tom Wright decided the game, with the fullback's brilliant individual try proving the difference in front of 35,945.

    "A win is really important and it always is because that's what you get judged on externally but internally, I think some of those moments that we did really well to earn that one, that'll be the focus for us this week building into Melbourne," Schmidt said.

    "We have a few things that are a little different from how teams have played in Super Rugby so the adjustment time for that to become second nature is inevitably and going to take time.

    "Hopefully, it can take 'till Tuesday and we can be really good at it...we'll leave that at the moment and focus on what's in front of us."

    It was a tense encounter as both sides opted to take early penalties, with the Australians starting strong under Joe Schmidt.

    A break to Andrew Kellaway early signalled their intentions as the hosts looked to apply pressure on the ill-disciplined Welsh.

    It eventually paid off in the 20th minute with strong running from the forwards delivering the opening try to Taniela Tupou for a 13-3 lead. In a case of double jeopardy for the Welsh, prop Gareth Thomas was sent for ten after a string of penalties.

    The numbers would be levelled shortly afterwards when Wales was awarded a penalty try for a collapsed maul, flanker Fraser McReight the man pinged for bringing it down on the line.

    With both teams down to 14, it became a midfield battle as the Wallabies scrum gained ascendency, countered by the poised kicking game of Wales.

    The Wallabies ended the half with a three-point lead, but Wales went straight back on the attack as they kicked their way inside the Wallabiesí 22.

    Play Video
    Ben Thomas levelled the scores via penalty from just over the 22 but the dropped kick-off presented the opportunity for the hosts to strike through Filipo Daugunu.

    Daugunu swung from wing to wing and sprinted through a gap, using his momentum to narrowly slide over the line for the 18-13 lead.

    Wales fought hard for the response, denied twice as a desperate ankle tap from Jake Gordon stopped a promising Aaron Wainwright break before a Welsh rolling maul try was brought back for obstruction.

    The Wallabies had their own chances, with a cross-field kick to Andrew Kellaway just out of reach but the kicking of Wales continued to present opportunities for Thomas to nail penalties to reduce the margin to two with 15 minutes to go.

    Up stepped Tom Wright, who produced some magic from his own half, breaking the line and the ankles of the Welsh cover defence for the nine-point lead.

    From here, the Welsh peppered the Wallabies line, only to be met by a gold wall.

    Debutants Isaac Kailea and Charlie Cale came up with big moments to halt momentum, with Fraser McReight lethal over the breakdown.

    It allowed them to close out the game and secure the win to start Joe Schmidtís tenure with a win.

    Wallabies 25 (Tries: Tupou, Daugunu, Wright; Cons: Lolesio, Lynagh; Pens: Lolesio 2) def Wales 16 (Penalty Try, Pens: Thomas 3)

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    Exile
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    "Let me tell you something you already know. The world ainít all sunshine and rainbows. Itís a very mean and nasty place and I donít care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ainít about how hard ya hit. Itís about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. Thatís how winning is done! Now if you know what youíre worth then go out and get what youíre worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ainít where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ainít you! Youíre better than that!" - Rocky Balboa

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    Five things we learned from Wallabies-Wales

    Sat, Jul 6, 2024, 8:30 PM
    Lachlan Grey


    It took an individual piece of magic from Tom Wright to separate the Wallabies from Wales in a classic Sydney showdown.

    Wright's 69th minute try against the run of play stretched the margin from two to nine points, cruelling any late Welsh hopes and paving way for a winning start to the Joe Schmidt era.

    Warren Gatland's side weren't far off though in a 25-16 arm wrestle and a massive battle looms next weekend in Melbourne.

    Here's what we learned:

    1. Winning ugly better than losing pretty
    Here's two truths to get started: this game won't go down as one of the great Test matches, and Aussie fans don't care - they're just happy to see a win.

    Neither the Wallabies nor Wales were at their best with Australia guilty of conceding too many penalties at the breakdown and lineout.

    Meanwhile the Welsh were their own worst enemies - chiefly, poor handling and offside infringements - and Australia's pressure ultimately proved the difference.

    The late defensive efforts of Rob Valetini and debutant Isaac Kailea, Charlie Cale's 77th minute lineout steal, and death turnovers from Fraser McReight and Josh Flook are exactly what Test match wins are built on.

    2. Set piece signs are Wallaby gold
    One area the Aussies did fire early was up front with Taniela Tupou chief destroyer at scrum time.

    Assisted by veteran James Slipper in his record-breaking 135th Test cap, the "Tongan Thor" smashed through Gareth Thomas and Dewi Lake early doors to paint a picture for referee Pierre Brousset that rarely faltered.

    Australia finished with two scrum penalties and a tighthead while demonstrating good signs at lineout time (two penalties aside) with captain Liam Wright and Jeremy Williams influential.

    The Wallabies hit 12 of their 13 lineouts and spoiled four Welsh throws - solid stats for an opening Test hit-out.


    3. Right man, right place, Wright time
    Mercurial is a strong and often overused term in rugby circles.

    However, Tom Wright's 69th minute break was miraculous given his limited involvements in the lead-up.

    Save a few errors, the Brumby went largely unnoticed the previous 68 minutes before pulling a Lazarus and rolling the Wallabies' stone 60m downfield for a try.

    There wasn't much on when Wright received a cut-out ball from Tom Lynagh - but few see space the way Wright can on his day.

    If you blinked you might have missed it - a good swing of the hips and Welsh jerseys parted like the Red Sea.

    The smile was breaking across Wright's face before he'd even touched down.

    4. "Don't get cocky, kid"
    There's shades of Star Wars to this result with Joe Schmidt's winning Wallabies as Australia's "New Hope".

    But as all geeks will know, the Empire always strikes back.

    Though Wales didn't offer much in attack outside the tenacious Aaron Wainwright and a few late testers from Sam Costelow, Warren Gatland would've seen enough to pick out the Wallabies' vulnerabilities.

    Australia's offensive breakdown still needs serious work, Wales won the kicking duel with a pair of 50-22s, and the Welsh did well to contain key ball runners like Bobby V and Hunter Paisami.

    Were it not for Wright's long-range try and McReight's late pilfer, this result may have gone the visitors' way, especially if James Botham maul try wasn't overruled. Expect a strong response in Melbourne.

    5. Schmidt's selections in the spotlight
    From blooding all seven debutants to a record-breaking prop, this Australian squad had it all.

    Debutants Jeremy Williams, Josh Flook, Isaac Kailea, Angus Blyth, Charlie Cale and Tom Lynagh all played key minutes while Dylan Pietsch was entrusted with locking down a wing late in the piece.

    Slipper's milestone has already been noted but the return of Liam Wright and Filipo Daugunu was just as compelling following their multi-year absence from Test match rugby.

    What follows in next week's selections will be fascinating.

    Will Schmidt entrust the same 23 to reprise their efforts or can fans expect more sweeping changes as the Wallaby coach?

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    I thought Jeremy Williams had a cracker - and represented the Force and us very well.

    Its great to be able to support a team that's winning again. Lets hope that they can continue the run next week in Melbourne.

    Can someone please do some cardio work with Topou. we need more than 40 minutes out of him.

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    Exile
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    "Let me tell you something you already know. The world ainít all sunshine and rainbows. Itís a very mean and nasty place and I donít care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ainít about how hard ya hit. Itís about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. Thatís how winning is done! Now if you know what youíre worth then go out and get what youíre worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ainít where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ainít you! Youíre better than that!" - Rocky Balboa

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    I think you'd better email or insta or X (hehe) that thought to Tom Decent at RA Pravda. Dominant for just 40; he gave him the highest player rating for yesterday, equal with Rob Valentini.

    As clunky as you'd expect with all the new players; some terrible kick options taken, some poor execution too, but some good stuff to build on. Like everybody, I suppose, the most impressive factor for me was the resilience in defence at the end of the match. The theory goes that great teams are built on strong D. I believe that 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Dominant for just 40; he gave him the highest player rating for yesterday.
    I wouldn't even call it 40.
    I think the first TH Penalty was in the 12th minute.
    Literally in the minute leading up to that scrum I was thinking "Slips is getting through a bit... hang on... did Nella not start?!?!"
    Then BAM!!!
    So maybe 30 minutes of "dominance".

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    Is it wrong to want 60 Minutes of Dominance from him?

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    Exile
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    "Let me tell you something you already know. The world ainít all sunshine and rainbows. Itís a very mean and nasty place and I donít care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ainít about how hard ya hit. Itís about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. Thatís how winning is done! Now if you know what youíre worth then go out and get what youíre worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ainít where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ainít you! Youíre better than that!" - Rocky Balboa

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    Is it wrong to want 60 Minutes of Dominance from him?
    Maybe. But your point is valid - he should at least be able to go to 50. Unless he's still carrying a niggle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    I thought Jeremy Williams had a cracker - and represented the Force and us very well.

    Its great to be able to support a team that's winning again. Lets hope that they can continue the run next week in Melbourne.

    Can someone please do some cardio work with Topou. we need more than 40 minutes out of him.
    I was keeping an extra Eye of Jezza, and he played well without being outstanding. Definintely did not look out of place, and will only get better. He was solid in defense and had some good carries, including getting over the try line, but still be able to place the ball for Topou's try. also had a lineout steal that i can remember.

    That said, he looked like he was out of steam at the end, he kept moving, but the fitness and extra pace of test level rugby maybe caught him off guard.


    Overall, the wallabies looked rusty (to be expected) and not exactly cohesive. I do not think that Lolesio should be our test scrum half, his decision making, and kicking game is not what i would like there. I also was not too impressed with Dangunu, despite his try, i thought he should have got the pass away to either in or outside him. lucky slide i guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palitu View Post
    That said, he looked like he was out of steam at the end, he kept moving, but the fitness and extra pace of test level rugby maybe caught him off guard.
    I doubt he was meant to go 80 on debut, but with usual 80 player Salakaia-Loto off at the break (ill during the week) he had a full match.
    While he's been playing 80 for the Force through the back end of the season, obviously this is a step up, particularly when combined with the emotions of first Test.

    That said, 100% agree he didn't look out of place, will be better for the run and deserves to hold his selection.

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    Last edited by Burgs; 08-07-24 at 15:57.
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    Ah, I didn't realize that loto was ill. I was surprised when he wasn't pulled, being the debutante.

    He looked pretty cooked at the end!

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    'Best feeling in the world': Williams riding emotional wave after strong Wallabies debut

    Sun, Jul 7, 2024, 3:42 PM
    Nathan Williamson


    Wallabies debutant Jeremy Williams was still on cloud nine as he reflected on his Test debut on home soil against Wales.

    The NSW-born Williams put in a strong 80-minute performance as the Australians came away with the 25-16 win over the Welsh.

    “That is the best feeling in the world. I don't think anything beats that," Williams said on the post-match coverage.

    “Got all of the family here. It doesn’t get much better than this.

    “I absolutely loved it. Definitely, it is a different level but I love it and I just want more of it."

    The 23-year-old has had an incredible 2024 season, beginning with his appointment as Western Force captain.

    A strong season in the West caught the eye of Joe Schmidt, who had no hesitation in throwing him straight into the starting side on debut.

    The faith was repaid as Williams delivered in the victory, stealing an important lineout whilst working hard in attack and defence.

    The opportunity to debut in front of his home crowd made the night even more special, with the lock catching eyes with a small group of family and friends in the crowd as he sang the national anthem before the game.

    “It’s pretty special," he reflected on Sunday.

    “It’s a dream to be able to go out there and wear that gold jersey, it’s such an honour."

    Williams will savour the moment but knows the focus needs to move to the second Test in Melbourne, with the Wallabies travelling south earlier in the day.

    “It’s definitely good to start the series with a win but we’ve still got a lot of work to do," he added.

    “We’ll keep putting in the work at training and progressing but it’s good to start off the win and we’ve got to keep backing it up.

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