Wales vs Wallabies: Five things we learned

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by Beth Newman

The Wallabies hung on against Wales in Cardiff.

What are we talking about after yet another tight one?

1. Lucky 13

The Wallabies have an incredible record against Wales and that continued once again on Sunday morning. For two teams that play out such tight matches so often, it seems inevitable Australia will slip up at least once, but in the past nine years they are yet to do so. Once again they didn’t have it all their own way in Cardiff, but Australia was able to deal with the Welsh pressure and make the most of their own chances when they had them. A gritty win will give them confidence heading into a huge Test next weekend.

2. Beale steal shows his value

Kurtley Beale scored the match sealer for Australia. Photo: Getty ImagesWhenever Kurtley Beale is praised, the word unpredictable is often used first. With a sneaky steal in the 63rd minute, the Wallabies utility sealed the game for the Wallabies. What might have been even sneakier was the fact he possibly lost it over the line. Beale looked for a quick conversion after scoring, ostensibly to avoid going to TMO, but it was reviewed and cleared. His value is being able to do things like that, and that’s what you need to become a great team. Combined with the impressive returns of Foley and Genia, the Wallabies backline looks on track.

3. Hooper the finisher

The Wallabies’ first-half tries all came through their forwards and captain Michael Hooper’s had a special slice of history in it. Hooper finished off a smart cross-field switch in the 40th minute to score his 15th Test try. That might not sound like many for the flashy backs, but it makes him Australia’s most prolific try-scoring forward in history. And he’s still only 26.  He'll be frustrated after a late yellow card, that made him the equal most yellow-carded player in Test history. The Wallabies having work to do on their discipline, on the wrong end of a 15-3 penalty count.

4. What to do with a problem like Kerevi?

Samu Kerevi needs to keep on fighting for a Test start. Photo: Getty ImagesSamu Kerevi earned a chance to start for a second week at 12 but he couldn’t recreate the impact he had in Japan. Where Kerevi was able to steamroll the brave Blossoms he was stopped in his tracks in Wales. The 23-year-old has huge potential but he still sits behind Tevita Kuridrani at 13 and among a huge group of 12s. What seems clear is the Wallabies won't be opting for two big, bashing, crashing centres from here on out.

5. Wallabies on a collision course with angry Eddie

A win over Wales will be sweet for the Wallabies, but it won’t take long for players and punters to be looking at Twickenham and Eddie Jones. Jones was visibly frustrated after his team’s 21-8 win over Argentina on Sunday morning (AEDT). Both teams have a bit to work on, and Jones said after their win they had a clear vision of what they wanted to do against Australia. Bring on Cheik vs Eddie.