Wallabies take 12th straight win over Wales

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies have made it 12 in a row against Wales, with a 32-8 win starting their Grand Slam attempt off in style.

The sides’ last 10 clashes had been decided by single digits, but from the outset it seemed that mark would be ended at Millennium Stadium on Saturday, as they took their biggest win over Wales since a 2009 33-12 victory.

In their highest-scoring first half since a quickfire start against Argentina in Perth, the Wallabies looked slicker than they have been all year.

Bernard Foley booted the first points of the afternoon, the start of what was one of his best performances of 2016, with 12 points, 69 run metres and two linebreaks, but that opening penalty was the end of going to the sticks for Australia keen to show the running rugby they have been so committed to under Michael Cheika.

Tevita Kuridrani crossed in his starting return. Photo: Getty ImagesA Leigh Halfpenny reply evened scores up, but did little to assuage the statistical dominance of the Wallabies,who more than 80 per cent of territory and possession in just the first 20 minutes, though just one try to their ledger

A rolling maul produced that opening five-pointer with captain Stephen Moore barging over after a five-metre lineout, finally converting their pressure in the 11th minute.

It was a slick attacking move that led to the Wallabies’ second, with Bernard Foley showing some sleight of hand to set up Reece Hodge for his first Test try, in the 26th minute.

Tevita Kuridrani had said pre-game he had a point to prove and was rewarded with his second Test try of the season, after threatening early in his first start since August.

Dan Biggar was sent to the bin early in the match. Photo: Getty ImagesHe wasn’t alone in that, with the Australian backline looking more connected than they have for much of the season, though some basic errors caught them out at times, when they chanced their arm too far.

Wales flyhalf Dan Biggar was sent to the bin in just the 16th minute, after holding Dane Haylett-Petty back in pursuit of a rampaging Israel Folau.

The second half proved more of an arm wrestle for the sides, but a timely turnover put Foley in space and the playmaker crossed in the 56th minute for Australia’s only try of that 40 minutes.

Israel Folau starred for the Wallabies in a big win. Photo: Getty ImagesScott Williams, a late inclusion for injured centre Jonathan Davies, finished off an opportunistic Wales attacking passage seven minutes later to reignite the crowd.

Desperate defensive efforts from Dane Haylett-Petty and Nick Frisby stopped Wales from narrowing the margin, before Haylett-Petty sprinted away for his first of the night.

David Pocock played out just a half of the game, with a concussion ending his game early, while Wales’ woes were compounded by the early exit of halfback Rhys Webb (leg).

The Wallabies head to Edinburgh on Sunday, ahead of a November 12 clash against Scotland.


Wales 8

Try: Williams

Pen: Halfpenny

Australia 32

Tries: Moore, Hodge, Kuridrani, Foley, Haylett-Petty

Cons: Foley (2)

Pen: Foley