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Thread: Wallabies Finish Tour with a Sound Win Over Wales

  1. #1
    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Wallabies Finish Tour with a Sound Win Over Wales

    The Qantas Wallabies left their best to last, producing their strongest performance of both the Spring Tour and possibly the season, to completely out play Six Nations heavyweights Wales in Cardiff today, 33-12, and four tries to nil.

    Along the way the Men of Gold banished the torment of last week’s disappointing lost to Scotland and re-claimed the James Bevan trophy.

    But from the kick off it didn’t look like it would be the Wallabies day.

    Things started badly as Matt Giteau’s horror run with the boot continued as his switch-kick off for Peter Hynes floated in to touch on the full.

    But from the scrum the Wallabies pack dominated winning a penalty and Giteau stepped up to try and vanquish his goalkicking doldrums with an ambitious attempt from 50 metres.

    The Brumbies flyhalf struck it sweetly and the ball crept over the crossbar to give Giteau a much needed confidence boost and the Wallabies the early lead – 3-0.

    Wales suffered a huge blow a minute later when local star, speedy wing Shane Williams, limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury.

    It was all the Wallabies in the early stages as they kept the ball in hand, charging at the Welsh defence and finding gaps.

    On six minutes it was Giteau who worked more magic, taking a long pass from Quade Cooper at second receiver and putting through a clever grubber on the Welsh 22 for Digby Ioane.

    The ball bounced beautifully and the Reds centre outpaced the Welsh cover, collected the ball and dived over out wide for the Wallabies opening try.

    Giteau missed the conversion but the Wallabies were up 8-0 after getting the positive start they so desperately required.

    On 17 minutes Wales were on the board with winger Leigh Halfpenny landing a long range penalty effort (8-3) but incredibly the Wallabies were in again a minute later.

    The kick off was re-gathered and a beautiful interchange from the Wallabies props – Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson saw Robinson in space.

    The Tahs prop found Drew Mitchell who took the ball on before finding lock James Horwill on the outside who dove in to the same corner that his Reds team mate Ioane dove into 15 minutes earlier.

    Again Giteau missed the conversion, from the same spot, but Robbie Deans would’ve been delighted with the Crusaders-like way his young team had started.

    A mistake from the kick off saw Mitchell go from hero to villain as he failed to gather and the ball bounced up to Wycliff Palu who was in an offside position.

    Wales flyhalf Stephen Jones made no mistake and Wales were back to 13-6 after 21 minutes.

    But incredibly the Men of Gold were in again just two minutes later for their third try.

    First scrumhalf Will Genia took an up and under well on the halfway and grubbered ahead for Giteau to chase.

    The Men of Gold flyhalf put pressure on Welsh fullback James Hook, who scurried the ball in to touch just metres from his line.

    The Wallabies won the lineout five metres out and after repeated phases close to the ruck, fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper cleverly ran wide, drawing the Welsh defence and allowing hooker Stephen Moore room to slip a pass to young flanker David Pocock who stretched out to score next to the posts.

    This time Giteau made no mistake and the Wallabies were flying – 23-6.

    The Men of Gold could’ve been further ahead on 27minutes after some more stunning interplay from the forwards, including a basketball pass from Alexander, saw Cooper put through a clever chip kick.

    Ioane outpaced the Welsh cover defence again but the ball just beat him over the dead-ball line.

    Halfpenny then limped off as the game went pear shaped for the hosts with Andrew Bishop coming on.

    It got even worse for Wales with hooker Matthew Rees being stretchered off moments later and Huw Bennett coming on as the home team suffered a trio of injuries in the first 30 minutes.

    While Rees was being taken off Jones landed a second penalty to bring the Red Dragons with in 11-points – 20-9.

    Pocock, having a huge game, won a penalty from the re-start and Giteau was on target from wide out on the right and the Wallabies found themselves in dreamland – 23-9 up after just 32 minutes.

    Jones picked up another penalty on the stroke of halftime to bring Wales back to 23-12 but the Wallabies had played perhaps their best 40 minutes of the year – leading by 11 points and 3 tries to nil.

    But could they keep it going in the second forty or would the dreaded second-half syndrome strike again?

    At half time tryscorer, and probable Man-of-the-first-half, Pocock was replaced by George Smith after injuring himself in the act of scoring his try.

    The second half began with a kickfest as the Wallabies, led by Cooper, chose to kick rather than keep the ball in hand – which they had done with such success in the first half.

    Obviously they were under instruction from Deans to play for position.

    This suited Wales who won two penalties in the first ten minutes of the second stanza but Hook, from long range, and Jones, from closer, both missed preserving the Wallabies lead.

    Wales poured on to attack with impressive Lions centre Jamie Roberts breaking dangerously but excellent scrambling defence from Genia kept the Welsh out.

    The Welsh then strung 18 phases together before Smith won a crucial turnover.

    On 55 minutes Deans went to the bench bringing Tatafu Polota-Nau on for Moore but he had a way to go to catch up to Wales mentor Warren Gatland who had cleared his bench, save for reserve scrumhalf Gareth Cooper who had already been used briefly as a blood bin replacement for Dwayne Peel.

    The Wallabies scrum won another penalty on 56 minutes and Giteau goaled beautifully from 30 metres out, to the left of the posts, to put the Men of Gold out to 26-12.

    Wales continued to attack as Deans sent James O’Connor on for Peter Hynes on the hour mark.

    But Smith won another turnover superbly on the Wallabies 22 and flicked the ball to Genia who grubbered ahead.

    Ioane chased superbly allowing the Wallabies to win the ball back on the Welsh 22. The ball came wide to Giteau, again standing at second receiver and benefitting from a crisp pass from Cooper.

    The flyhalf, living up to his nomination for iRB World Player of the Year, cut through the Welsh defence and found Polota-Nau backing up on the inside for the big Tahs hooker to crash over for the Wallabies fourth try.

    Giteau was successful with the conversion and with less than a quarter of the game to play the Wallabies were almost out of sight at 33-12.

    With ten minutes to go Deans gave NSW utility back Kurtley Beale a Test cap replacing Mitchell to become Wallaby No.833.

    Wales continued to pound the Wallabies defensive line, with replacement Sam Warburton prominent, but committed Men of Gold defence held them at bay.

    The Wallabies threatened to go further ahead in the final moments as Matt Dunning came on for Alexander, Mark Chisholm came on for Palu and Luke Burgess for Genia.

    Wales finished strongly, however the Wallabies were resolute and kept their line uncrossed and rounded off their Spring Tour in the best possible way.

    Spring Tour Result

    Qantas Wallabies 33 (Digby Ioane, James Horwill, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau tries; Matt Giteau 2 conversions, 3 penalties) defeated Wales 12 (Stephen Jones 3 penalties, Leigh Halfpenny penalty) at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. (Half time: Wallabies 23-12) (Crowd: 74,000)

    http://rugby.com.au/matches/tourname...es,132366.html

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  2. #2
    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    and some video highlights


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  3. #3
    Senior Player Hoolly Doolly's Avatar
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    Much improved all round.
    Great to see all the young tackers out there together towards the end.
    Pocock and smith were awesome. a nice selection head ache to have!

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    Nice to see Pocock pick up a try for his good work this tour... well done... and it was great to see Beale get his 1st Wallabies cap... Genia again was strong and it was good to see Chisholm play as a loosie again at No.8.... Front row were excellent... Noriega is a scrum wizard...

    Enjoyed that one, re-run at midday EST... ABs vs France was good also...

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    Repeated on OneHD at 5.55pm today.

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  6. #6
    Player Fullback's Avatar
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    Great performance from the boys and Pocock had an outstanding half. That was the best way to come back from a loss and prove they've got plenty of ticker.

    Brilliant work by the forwards in the scrum, break down and playing in the backline... and what can you say about the defence last night, Wales had no chance of getting over the line.

    Well done the Wallabies.

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