World cup opponents Wales and Australia draw in Wales

The Northern hemisphere’s Autumn Internationals got of to a flying start on Saturday with a minute by minute thriller. The game ended in a draw but the lead swapped side several times.

Wales got off to a slow start and by the end of the 1st quarter it looked like Wales were going to get hammered. Australia’s Matt Giteau playing at No. 9 for the rested George Gregan (not on tour) stole a sneaky try as he caight the Welsh sleeping while referee Steve Walsh awarded a penalty. This stretched the lead to 17-6

Then when it seemed things could not get worse for Wales captain and fly half Stephen Jones went off with a twisted knee.

Replacement flyhalf James Hook came on for Jones and within minutes of his arrival Wales were back in the match only three points behind as Shane Williams charged over for a try created by Gareth Thomas’s dummy run.

After the break it was Wales who charged ahead and took the lead only for Australia to come back within minutes as Chris Latham created a great try down the wing. The try wnet a long way in earning his man of the match title.

Replacement fly half James Hook also had a cracking match and was always on target with his boot. It was his final kick at posts that tied the scores 29-29 with ten minutes to go.

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins praised James Hook after the match saying, “James Hook today was man of the match, simple as that. We are all aware of James’ ability,”

“He showed today he can perform on the international stage. There is nobody who won’t have been impressed by him.” said Jenkins.

Australia full-back Chris Latham was however officially given the man of the match award. Australia captain Phil Waugh was dissapointed at the loss and he said, “We started the game how we wanted to play but we went away from that.

“The Welsh punished us for our mistakes and full credit to them.”

The match itself provided great entertainment for a capacity Millennium Stadium crowd and was a great way to kick of the international rugby season.

Wales and Australia are in the same world cup pool and Wales will travel to Australia next year for an away series ahead of the World cup.


Wales: Morgan, G Thomas, Shanklin, Henson, S Williams, S Jones (capt), Peel, Jenkins, Rees, A Jones, Evans, Gough, J Thomas, M Williams, R Jones.
Replacements: R Thomas, D Jones, G Thomas, Wyn Jones, Phillips, Hook, M Jones.

Australia: Latham, Rathbone, Tuqiri, Larkham, Shepherd, Rogers, Giteau, Baxter, McIsaac, Blake, Sharpe, Vickerman, Elsom, Waugh (capt), Palu.
Replacements: Cannon, Robinson, Chisholm, Hoiles, Valentine, Gerrard, Ashley-Cooper.

Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand).

Att: 74,158

Wales 29 (16)
Tries: S Williams, M Williams.
Cons: J Hook 2.
Pens: S Jones, G Henson, J Hook 3.

Australia 29 (17)
Tries: C Shepherd 2, M Giteau, C Latham.
Cons: M Giteau 3.
Pens: M Giteau.

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