Wales hosted Australia in Cardiff on Saturday the 5th of November. Everyone expected a sparkling game with players bombing down the field on fire. But it seemed that Australia were the ones who brought the fireworks.
Wales’ squad was decimated with injuries with first team regulars such as Taulupe Faletau, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies all out. Wales were commemorating Aber-fan on their shirts and wearing black bands in memory of Alun Wyn Jones’ father who had died that week. Rob Howley coaches the side in the absence of Warren Gatland who was unable to take charge of Wales due to British & Irish Lions commitments. The Aussies were missing Will Genia, whilst David Pocock replaced suspended flanker Dean Mumm and Tevita Kuridrani was selected to play at centre alongside Reece Hodge.
This was a pretty frustrating and disappointing performance by Wales. We had a few promising moments, but other than that it was all Australia. The Aussies dominated possession, territory and everything really, except for tackles. It’s surprising they didn’t win by double the score. Some Wales fans are asking for refunds!
Leigh Halfpenny was the only reason Wales stayed in it in the first half, with a few great try saving tackles. Justin Tipuric also had a good game. Rhys Webb was heavily involved with every attacking play Wales were involved in, although he went off on a stretcher. Dan Biggar’s yellow card was a very frustrating moment and sapped all momentum that Wales had begun to build. Sam Davies and Cory Hill made their international debuts and it didn’t take them long to get stuck in – two players who were eager to make an impression.
It was a disappointing start to the Under Armour Series for Wales, but we traditionally start badly and hopefully we can get a couple of wins against Japan and Argentina, before playing South Africa in the last match of the series.
The Final score was Wales 8-32 Australia. Watch highlights of the game here
Congratulations to Ireland as well for beating New Zealand 40-29.
Wales – Halfpenny, Cuthbert, J Davies, Roberts, North, Biggar, Webb; Jenkins (C), Owens, Lee, B Davies, Charteris, Lydiate, Tipuric, Moriarty.
Reps: Baldwin, Smith, Francis, Hill, King, G Davies, S Davies, Amos
Australia – Folau, Haylett-Petty, Kuridrani, Hodge, Speight, Foley, Phipps; Sio, Moore (C), Kepu, Arnold, Coleman, Pocock, Hooper, Timani.
Reps: Latu, Slipper, Alaalatoa, Simmons, Fardy, Frisby, Cooper, Naivalu.