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Five talking points from Wales vs Wallabies

Wales were soundly defeated by the Wallabies in Cardiff last time around. (AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU)
Roar Guru
6th November, 2016
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6032 Reads

Australia have kicked off their Grand Slam campaign in convincing fashion, defeating a listless Wales this morning by 32 points to 8 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The Wallabies simply had too much firepower and pace for a poorly organised Welsh defence who at times looked well short of a gallop.

Here are some talking points from today’s match.

All the wash-up from Wales vs Wallabies:
» Match Report: Wallabies rout Wales
» What changes should the Wallabies make?
» Vote on our DIY Wallabies player ratings
» Re-live the match with our live blog

Bernard Foley
First five has been a hotly debated position among Roarers for the Wallabies but perhaps we may see some respite on this issue after Foley put in a man-of-the-match performance last night. He led the Wallaby attack well, taking the gap when on offer and putting many into holes.

Of particular note was his attacking kicking game, particularly early, finding space out wide with accurate kicks and exploiting a narrow Welsh defence forcing the Welsh to spread then taking the line on. He created some good straight running from the Wallabies leaving the Welsh defence floundering at times, particularly in the first half.

Questions will still remain over his defensive exits and organisation, but on attack Foley is in fine touch.

Execution
Perhaps a pedantic point to make considering the margin of victory but the Wallabies were hardly clinical in attack, squandering a number of opportunities on attack whether through poor hands or pushed passes.

At this stage of the season you would expect more cohesion within the side and is certainly an area to continue to work on as similar missed opportunities may prove costly against better opposition to come.

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Game management
The Wallabies are determined to play a high-octane ball-in-hand game and the pace is furious but near impossible to pull off across 80 minutes.

It was noticeably messy from the Wallabies at the beginning of the second half, a number of poor passes and options hinting at fatigue taking its toll. Considering the lead that had been established, perhaps a more conservative approach was required, after all the pressure was all on the Welsh to make the play.

A few kicks to the corner and forcing the Welsh to turn may have been a better course of action and allowed the Wallabies to catch their breath and maintain their shape for longer periods.

Also, it seems to me that the bench should be employed earlier from coach Michael Cheika considering the game plan he wishes to see from his charges.

Wallaby grunt
The relative rookies to the Wallaby pack have added some real starch to the Australian forward effort, Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold and Lopeti Timani giving the Wallabies some real presence at the ruck and with ball in hand.

Considering the lamentations from fans around these specific areas earlier in the season it is starting to look and develop into a real area of strength for the Wallabies for several seasons to come.

Global season
While the Wallaby performance was a pleasing one there is no doubt to me the Welsh were well underdone in terms of preparation for this match and would be very disappointed with their performance. They fell well short of their capabilities.

This was a concern of mine before the match, with the Wallabies having recent match play against quality opposition an obvious advantage but such is the nature of the scheduling at this time.

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We all want to see teams performing and playing at their best and a global international season seems more and more pertinent to try and ensure we get the best contests possible and must surely be an area of concern for World Rugby to address.

In the end, the Wallabies can move forward with confidence to Murrayfield to take on the Scots in their Grand Slam ambition while Wales will have to pick themselves up quickly before hosting Argentina next week, another side likely to try and run them off their feet.

Here are my major talking points from the match, what are your thoughts Roarers?

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