Wallabies fall to Wales in Lyon

Sun, Sep 24, 2023, 8:51 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies head to Lyon to face Wales. Photo: Getty Images
The Wallabies head to Lyon to face Wales. Photo: Getty Images

The Wallabies’ World Cup dream is all but over after a 40-6 defeat to Wales in Lyon.

It’s the team’s largest defeat at a World Cup and leaves them needing Fiji to lose both their games for any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

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Replacement Gareth Anscombe was the chief destroyer as Wales controlled the game despite a shoulder injury to Dan Biggar.

After missing his first shot at goal, the flyhalf was perfect from the boot, contributing 23 points as the Welsh ran away with the game.

As for the Wallabies, they struggled to find a way through a solid Welsh defence, left despondent after another loss.

They will likely finish their campaign against Portugal in Saint-Etienne.

"I just like to apologise to the Australians. A lot of people travelled here and stayed up late and that performance wasn't up to the standard that is required," Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said post-match.

"I take full responsibility for it. We have a young team and they are very disappointed. They tried their guts out but unfortunately at the moment, we don't have the consistency to put pressure on teams like Wales. We do some good things but then fall away.

"It's very disappointing."

Wales started fast as flanker Jac Morgan burst through the gap, looking inside for scrum half Gareth Davies for the opening try.

The Wallabies brushed off the early try and looked to control the first quarter.

Prop Angus Bell went close before a knock-on whilst Tate McDermott’s chip kick nearly delivered results.

They couldn’t find a way through the Welsh defence early, with Ben Donaldson’s boot the lone contributor of points.

Wales then suffered a major blow with Biggar forced off with a shoulder injury. His replacement Anscombe shrugged off an early miss to give the Welsh a 10-6 lead after 20 minutes.

In a crucial six-point swing, the Wallabies turned down a penalty from in front for the lineout, only for miscommunication to allow Wales to boot the ball up field for a 22-22 and another three for Anscombe.

Some great scramble defence from the Wallabies held up Louis Rees-Zammit on the stroke of half-time as Wales took a 10 point lead into the break.

Wales started the half how they started the game, keeping pressure on the Australians via the boot and the set piece game to run away with the contest.

This allowed Nick Tompkins to slide over for their second try of the match, collecting a sharp chip kick by Anscombe. From here, Anscombe continued to add penalties to the scoreline as the Wallabies looked deflated.

He kicked six to give them a commanding 32-6 lead before the playmaker iced the game with a late drop goal.

A late rolling maul try to Morgan secured the win and top spot in Pool C


TRIES: Davies, Tompkins, Morgan

CONS: Biggar 1/1, Anscombe 1/2

PENS: Anscombe 6/7

DROP GOAL: Anscombe 1/1


PENS: Donaldson 2/2


Wales (15-1): Liam Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies, Taulupe Daletau, Jac Morgan (c), Aaron Wainwright, Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Tomas Francis, Ryan Elias, Gareth Thomas

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Corey Domachowski,  Henry Thomas, Dafydd Jenkins, Taine Basham, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Rio Dyer.

Australia (15-1): Andrew Kellaway; Mark Nawaqanitawase, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete; Ben Donaldson, Tate McDermott; Rob Valetini, Tom Hooper, Rob Leota; Richie Arnold, Nick Frost; James Slipper, David Porecki (capt), Angus Bell

Replacements: Matt Faessler, Blake Schoupp, Pone Fa'amausili, Matt Philip, Fraser McReight, Nic White, Carter Gordon, Suli Vunivalu

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce (England) & Christophe Ridley (England)

TMO: Tom Foley (England)

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