Australia vs Wales Test: Live scores, blog
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Australia vs Wales: live blog (Image: AAP)
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Australia Vs. Wales
2012 Australia v Wales, 9 June, 2012
|Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, QLD|
|Australia 27 defeated Wales 19|
|Referee: C Joubert|
|Touch judges: K Brown & G Williamson|
Australia play Wales tonight at Suncorp Stadium under immense pressure from the Australian rugby public. A poor loss to Scotland mid-week has many concerned that an injury-hit Wallabies can perform against Six Nations champions Wales.
With nine changes to the team that lost 9-6 on a wild night in Newcastle, coach Robbie Deans has again had little preparation, with just two training sessions for preparation.
The Wallabies depth looks short, and they’re missing would-be starters Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell and Quade Cooper, while Ben Tapuai and Christian Lealiifano are also injured.
Berrick Barnes holds on to his spot at fly-half, with Deans left few other options. Rugby league convert Cooper Vuna starts for the Wallabies on the right wing after Joe Tomane was ruled out with an ankle injury.
The forward pack is heavy on Waratahs muscle, despite the ‘Tahs being the most maligned team in Australian rugby. The addition of Rob Simmons, Benn Robinson and Wycliff Palu adds strength to the forward pack. Roar columnist David Lord reckons Deans has risked his career on the make-up (and Waratah centric nature) of this forward pack.
Will Genia had a poor night against Scotland and even if the forwards are able to get on top of the Welsh it is his task to distribute good quick ball and make the right decisions. It will certainly be easier on a dry surface at Suncorp.
Australia does have recent success over Wales, beating them in the Rugby World Cup to take 3rd place, and away at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff at the end of the 2011 season.
Yet, this is no ordinary Wales touring side and the young Welsh team has grown from their Rugby World Cup experience.
Wales were unbeaten in the Six Nations tournament, and in direct comparison, Australia’s mid-week opponent Scotland didn’t win a game, including losing to Italy.
The Welsh are here to win and they bring a side that offer the best chance in decades to break the Wallabies’ unbeaten streak at home, a stretch that reaches back to 1969.
The real strength of the Welsh lies in the backrow – with Mike Phillips and Rhys Priestland outstanding during the Rugby World Cup and they have continued that form over the European season.
Can the Wallabies prevent Wales from breaking their win-drought against the Wallabies at home? The Australians will need to show far more than they did against the Scots, with more aggression, quicker ruck-distribution and more free-flowing play required.
Leave your predictions here before the start of the match and join us as we bring you live commentary and scores of the all important first of three Tests between Australia and Wales.
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