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Wallabies hold on for Wales win

Oliver Matthews Roar Guru

By Oliver Matthews, Oliver Matthews is a Roar Guru

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    Australia have beaten Wales by 29 points to 21 in Cardiff and stretched their winning streak over the Welsh to 13 in a row.

    It was always going to be hard for the Welsh to turn the tide against the Australians and in the review they will see plenty to be positive about but sadly more to be frustrated about, especially far too many handling errors that led to many of the Welsh attacks stumbling before they could really cause any threat.

    More Wallabies vs Wales
    » Quiqley: Wallabies discipline a concern
    » Five talking points from the match
    » Team changes for the match vs England
    » Vote in our DIY player ratings
    » Re-live the match with our live blog

    In the first half the Welsh were looking to find some rhythm and struggled. They had to defend a lot and then when they did have the ball in hand they gave it away through errors or poor kicks too often.

    This was reflected in the stats as much as the scoreboard at halftime – they were nine points behind and had to make roughly three times as many tackles as their opponents.

    The Wales of the second half was better in some ways – they held onto the ball more and forced the Aussies to make over 90 tackles – but they were always chasing a game that you felt was always going to be just beyond their reach.

    For the Aussies there were quite a few positives from today that Michael Cheika will be pleased with. In the first half they played some very patient and clinical attacking rugby. Foley kicked well and kept the Welsh pinned back forcing them to run from deep time and time again.

    When the Wallabies did attack they were composed and when a specific attack didn’t get a result, they didn’t panic. They reset and kept coming forcing the Welsh to keep working hard and giving them no respite.

    This led to three tries for the Wallabies in the first half including an important try just before half time when Michael Hooper finished a nice period of build play with a score in the corner.

    While the penalty count of 13 (four times more than the Welsh) will have annoyed Cheika, the Aussies did well to keep out wave after wave of Welsh attacks. The Aussies had to live without the ball for much of the second half but the defence stood up well.

    This was especially true late in the game when Hooper was sent to the sin bin as a result of Australia persistently infringing at the ruck.

    Wales threw everything at the Aussies for these ten minutes including several scrums where they had a man advantage and were just five metres from the Wallabies line – but the Welsh scored zero points during this period and the Aussies should be very happy with this effort.

    Just before Hooper’s dismissal Kurtley Beale had arguably taken the game beyond the Welsh with a bizarre try that came from a rugby league style strip in a tackle.

    No one really knew what had happened but Beale ran in from 35 metres out while most were assuming that he’d knocked the ball on in the tackle. This assumption seemed to be shared by Beale himself who smartly tried to take the conversion himself straight away after scoring to try and prevent any TMO review of the try itself.

    The ref did review the try though and despite some pretty strong video evidence hinting that he had indeed knocked the ball on the score stood and the Aussies moved beyond the Welsh.

    From an individual point of view, a number of Wallabies did well without being absolutely electric. Will Genia and Bernard Foley ran the game well and always looked comfortable.

    Adam Coleman worked hard in the second row and while he did attract the ref’s attention too often he was a powerful menace.

    Marika Koroibete wasn’t as busy as he’d have wanted but he did go looking for the ball sometimes and worked hard in cover defence.

    Tatafu Polota-Nau did well for the most part – his try arguably more important than his loose throw at a line out – and he’s replacing Moore very nicely.

    Karmichael Hunt got a chance in the second half but didn’t really make a huge impact and he’ll have to wait to try and make his case for a permanent starting shirt.

    For the Welsh it was the first game post Warren Ball and they did look to move the ball around and attack wider more than they usually do.

    However their execution isn’t quite up to their intent yet and while the last 20 minutes were exciting as the Welsh tried hard to come back, the Aussies never really looked at risk from about the 30-minute mark onwards.

    There are definitely some exciting young talents for the Welsh who we got a glimpse of today and it’s true that they struggled without the experience of forwards like Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric but Warren Gatland will be wanting some significant improvements from his team over the next few weeks and in next years’ Six Nations.

    For Cheika this was a good start to this part of the tour and he’ll be feeling good about how things are aligning for next week – the clash with Eddie Jones’ England at Twickenham.

    That game will have a lot written about it from every angle and should prove to be an absolute cracker.

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    The Crowd Says (68)

    • November 12th 2017 @ 7:49am
      Bring Back...? said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

      Agree with many parts of this but not others. That was a poor match in terms of quality. Wales seemed to try and play an unfamiliar game but their hands weren’t up to it and they regularly created pressure for themselves, particularly in the first half. The Wallabies looked static across the field except TPN (that cover tackle was awesome) and Hooper was everywhere and making some good hits. Kerevi was easily handled by the Welsh defence and I maintain he’s not the answer at 12. Interesting to see the Wallabies employ some kicking game. All in all, nice to get a win but Eddie will not be concerned.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 11:33am
        Dontcallmeshirley said | November 12th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        Eddie may however be concerned about his own team. They were poor against Argentina.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 4:27pm
          Cuw said | November 12th 2017 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

          poor in attack and solid in defence.

          but i do not expect them to make the kind of silly mistakes the Welsh did , that helped auzzy to score. i mean auzzy scored off every mistake welsh did inside their 25.

          also england will revert to Ford _ Farrell combo against auzzy and that will be different for sure.

          Henry Slade is a 13 for Chiefs and was put at 12 as an experiment. he took time to adjust. Lozowski on the other hand who is a 10 – 12 for Sarries did well once he came on.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 5:53pm
            Bring Back...? said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

            Agreed CUW.

      • Roar Guru

        November 12th 2017 @ 11:50am
        PeterK said | November 12th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        Kerevi did better in attack and defence than Kuridrani though.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 3:55pm
          double agent said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

          He always looked in danger of being held up in the tackle.

          • November 12th 2017 @ 5:08pm
            ethan said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

            I think more exposure to this level of rugby is what he needs to take his game to the next level. In SR he is used to just barraging over weaker defenders – but Tier 1 international teams don’t fall off so easily. The more he plays this level, the more he will have to learn different ways to take the ball into contact.

            • November 12th 2017 @ 5:54pm
              Bring Back...? said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

              I’m not bagging Kerevi as a player. I just don’t think his role in this set up is at 12.

              • November 12th 2017 @ 6:06pm
                Fionn said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

                I think ideally you want a power 12 like Kerevi or Kuridrani or even Mortlock and a 13 with a bit more distribution and a few more strings to their bow. Unfortunately, there are not many Conrad Smiths around. I’m still not sure what the answer to our centre conundrum is going into the RWC. Perhaps Lealiifano will stamp his authority on the 12 jersey, or Hodge will play 12 or 13 and do wonderfully for the Rebels.

                Hunt is so injury prone I don’t think we can necessarily count on him on being able to last a RWC.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 4:52am
                Dan in Devon said | November 13th 2017 @ 4:52am | ! Report

                Looking towards the World Cup, surely Beale is a shoo in as our 12. I would like to see Hunt start at 15 and Beale at 12 for the England game.

        • Roar Guru

          November 12th 2017 @ 8:17pm
          Sluggy said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

          PeterK, I thought this was one of TK’s best outings this year.

          Kerevi, on the other hand, looked like he was out of his depth.

          Too easily contained by the Wales defence.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 8:00am
      Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      Pass for the WBs
      Drop in intensity during periods of the game. Not as polished as it could have been.OZ benefited from some lucky refereeing.
      But couldn’t help but think Wales couldve done with some Byrnesque skill development. They must’ve dropped six tries.
      Also WBs turned to a rabble with Hooper off. Captaincy by committtee? Certainly not Lynagh vs Ireland in 91.
      A few nice things. Hannigan stooped one threat with a great cover tackle. Genia brilliant all game. Possibly the difference (along with Byrne).
      It will be an interesting week in camp Wallaby. That level of play won’t beat England. I expect Hunt to start at 12.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 1:56pm
        Peter said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

        The Wallabies were very fortunate not to have benefited any more than they did from “some very lucky refereeing”, given the 15-3 penalty count in favour of Wales.
        Were you serious?

        • November 12th 2017 @ 2:58pm
          Jacko said | November 12th 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

          The 5 were shockers

        • November 12th 2017 @ 10:58pm
          Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | November 12th 2017 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

          Penalties are not given out democratically Peter. Crimes lead to time. As I said WBs were flat in periods resulting in innacuracy, such as Hoopers binning.
          What was he thinking after the general card warning? Dumb play from a lack of concentration. Lucky we did not lose another or a penalty try when the scrum was disintegrating near our line.

          A 15- 3 penalty count may just reflect a 15-3 ill discipline count.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 8:05am
      wardad1 said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      Congrats to the Wallabies ,well done !
      My commiserations to the Welsh.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 9:09am
      soapit said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      dont know if i could handle being a welsh supporter.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 9:10am
      rock86 said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      “Kerevi was easily handled by the Welsh defence and I maintain he’s not the answer at 12.”

      Well that’s because he’s not a 12, hence the reason he plays outside centre for the Reds….

      • November 12th 2017 @ 9:13am
        Fionn said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        Previously he played inside centre for the Reds as well.

        He plays 13 for the Reds because Paia’aua is a very good 12, but is not an option at 13, and Quade is the starting 10.

        Whether he would be playing 13 in the absence of Paia’aua is a very different question. I see him as a 12. We also shouldn’t forget he had a couple of decent runs also, despite also having a number of absolute shockers.

        • November 12th 2017 @ 12:31pm
          Bfc said | November 12th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          I think most Reds fans expect to see a 10-12-13-15 lineup that is QC-DPA-Kerevi-Hunt…CFS has been going well for QLD Country at #13 so he my be “in the mix” as well (especially as Thorn coached the NRC winners…).

    • November 12th 2017 @ 9:53am
      Drongo said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

      Just watched the recording. A high quality win by the Wallabies. Very composed and in control of this match. Others will do their best to play it down, but this was a very good quality performance by the Wallabies, stuck to the game plan and it worked very well. A typically plucky Welsh are never a pushover. Great warm up for the remaining matches. Well done to Cheika and his team.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 3:35pm
        ethan said | November 12th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

        Agree Drongo, this was a high quality win. Rather surprised at the amount of negativity in the comments. Hanigan and Foley each had one of their better games, and aside from scrum issues, we played well across the park. Also managed a win despite a high penalty count against, suggesting good defence and resilience. Welsh came out playing a more adventurous brand then they sometimes do which made for good entertainment, and they are always very physical.

        I enjoyed it, at least.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 8:53pm
        Taylorman said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

        Enjoy it while it lasts Drongo😀

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